Golfer? Struggling with your short game? Take a look at your game through the lens of a project manager!
I want to talk to you about the intersection of project management and the art of putting. You may not realize this, but everything is a project, no matter how small or large the task. This includes your game of golf, and specifically, putting.
When we talk about putting in the context of project management, we can look at the SMART goals framework and use that as a way to monitor and improve your putting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound – all critical factors when it comes to having a successful project. So how does that relate to putting, you ask? Let’s delve into this.
Specific: In project management, a specific goal is well-defined, clear, and unambiguous. It answers the questions – who, what, where, when, which, and why. When it comes to putting, the specific goal is to put the ball into the hole. This goal is clear and straightforward. As a player, you know exactly what needs to be achieved.
Measurable: Measurable goals mean that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear, and feel when you reach your goal. It implies that the goal is quantifiable. In project management, this could be a certain percentage of task completion, a number of tasks completed, etc. For putting, this can be quantified as the number of putts it takes to get the ball into the hole. By keeping track of this number, you can measure improvement over time.
Achievable: An achievable goal is one that can be accomplished within a given time frame. In project management, this means setting goals that are within the team’s capacity and capabilities. In putting, the goal is achievable because with practice and confidence, you can improve your skills. It’s important to set achievable goals to maintain motivation and feel a sense of progress.
Relevant: Relevant goals are aligned with broader objectives. In project management, this could mean aligning a project’s goals with the company’s strategic objectives. In putting, the relevance of improving is clear: the fewer putts you take, the lower your overall score will be. This aligns with the broader objective of any player – to improve their game and lower their score.
Time-bound: Time-bound goals are constrained by a deadline that helps to create a sense of urgency and prompts action. In project management, this could be the project deadline or milestones along the way. In putting, each shot needs to be made within a certain time frame to maintain the pace of play and ensure a good round. This time-bound nature of putting adds an extra layer of challenge and requires players to not only aim accurately but also do so promptly.
By applying the SMART goal framework to putting, players can make systematic and measurable improvements in their game. Just like in project management, setting SMART goals in putting can lead to better performance and outcomes. That right there is how you do it. So, next time you’re on the green, remember to be SMART about your putting!
Kris Reynolds, CEO of Arrowhead Consulting, a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a Certified Nonprofit Consultant (CNC), is a seasoned business Executive, International speaker, author, and corporate leadership trainer.