Goals and measurement

How does your team set goals to achievement each season? And is worth it to you, doing it? Like how does your team ensure that you are going in the right way to get that goals, how do you meassure, which techniques do you use, or any advice you have to keep going on the goals seted

And with goals like in media, goals in outreach, engineering, foundraising, etc.

Our goal for 112 was to win a regional as a 1st pick/captain. We picked that as it had a chance of happening, and was what we built our robot around. We measured it by seeing if we won a regional. Unfortunately, we didn’t.

111’s goal was to be on Einstein, so they build their robot for a very high skill cap which would be reached later into the season. Unfortunately they didn’t get there, but got close.

I guess the goals have to be somewhat reasonable. These were full season goals, while I guess you were talking about shorter-term maybe? 111’s goal will probably still be to be on Einstein as a 1st pick/captain, and 112’s goal will probably still be to win a regional as a 1st pick or captain next year.


We don’t have a track record of goal-setting and accountability as a team, so I think it was a little difficult to bring it up to get goals that do meet some of the things you mentioned. However, we did have leadership students write a couple of non-performance goals.

Now these prompted goals didn’t really all make much sense but did give you a lot of sporadic thoughts that with the magic of summarizing AI you actually were able to prompt to get a few reasonable goals. Also, asking for it to make them in SMART goals further refined these exercise responses into something that can be useful for tracking progress. Without a culture of regularly reviewing goal progress, I think you basically need a person who will monitor and bring up when it is time to review progress.

Here is some snippets of Google Doc “help me write” about how to implement SMART goals. It did seem to organize some thoughts quickly for those not used to putting goals together that are following these criteria.

  • Specific: Make sure your goal is specific and measurable. For example, instead of saying “I want to improve team bonding,” say “I want to increase team bonding by organizing a team-building activity once a month.”

  • Measurable: Your goal should be measurable so you can track your progress. For example, if your goal is to increase team retention, you could measure the number of new members who stay on the team after one year.

  • Achievable: Your goal should be achievable and realistic. For example, if you have a team of 10 people, it might not be realistic to expect everyone to learn a new skill each week.

  • Relevant: Your goal should be relevant to your team and your organization’s goals. For example, if your team’s goal is to win a robotics competition, your goal might be to improve the team’s communication skills.

  • Time-bound: Your goal should have a specific deadline. For example, if your goal is to increase team retention, you could set a goal of increasing retention by 10% by the end of the year.

This was also interesting about the process that “help me write” spit out when asking about next steps:

Here are some next steps to help the leaders prepare a finalized set of team goals:

  • Brainstorm a list of potential goals. This can be done individually or as a group.
  • Categorize the goals into different areas, such as teamwork, learning and development, motivation, and productivity.
  • Write SMART goals for each category. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Prioritize the goals. Not all goals are created equal, so it’s important to focus on the ones that are most important and achievable.
  • Create a plan for achieving each goal. This plan should include specific steps, timelines, and resources.
  • Track progress and make adjustments as needed. It’s important to regularly review your goals and make sure you’re on track to achieve them.
  • Celebrate successes! As you achieve your goals, be sure to celebrate your team’s hard work. This will help to keep everyone motivated and engaged.
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I have my team develop SMART goals each year, but for 2022-2023 we really worked on improving that process. We started our goal-setting meetings in October. Student leads watched this workshop on goal-setting, and a few other resources.

Student leaders then wrote out some suggested goals on a shared doc, fulfilling the goal areas of student, community, robot, results, and awards. We probably spent several weeks in the fall refining, narrowing the list, and making it specific and realistic.

By December, we had a list we could print out and put up on the wall in our lab space. Each goal was measurable, so we know if we met it or not. Here’s the list - checklist is the final version, but with the notes included at the bottom that we used as we developed it.

During the build and competition season, we used the goals list to refine our schedule and focus for meetings each week. Mentors and sub team leads looks at it regularly to stay on track.

We did not meet all of the goals in the 2023 season. We do know which ones we didn’t reach and why. We even started implementing some changes in the summer to improve those areas. I think this method worked really well for us last year and we’ll do the same this year.

The only things we might change would be narrowing the number of goals down a little bit and making them more visible for all team members. We didn’t talk about the goals enough during team meetings in 2023.

2023 Season Goals

Student Impact Goals:

  • Daily after school meeting attendance above 80%, and 100% of team travels to regionals
  • Host monthly collaborations with other Webb clubs to expand team’s in-school network
  • Place all interested team members in summer STEM internships, camps, or service work
  • Achieve 100% student participation in team community outreach events before SMR
  • Subteams post Discord progress updates at the end of each meeting, including (1) accomplishments for the day (2) details of the next step and (3) a photo or video

Community Impact Goals:

  • Weekly B&GC visits include 33% of team members as volunteers this spring
  • Open Alliance posts on CD or Discord are authored by at least 50% of team members
  • Reach 100% completion of FIRST’s ED&I online training before SMR
  • Host two FIRST community events for local teams at Webb before SMR
  • Promote 1466 in the upper school with bi-weekly update videos in chapel and on social media

Robot Goals:

  • Drivable chassis available throughout all of build season for prototyping and practice
  • Implement a basic form of vision processing in autonomous using AprilTags
  • Reliable autonomous routines score in at least 90% of qualifying matches
  • Efficient and reliable wiring allows robot to maintain comms in 100% of matches
  • Build a robot intended to achieve the team’s strategic design goals established at kickoff
  • Robot v1 mechanically and electrically complete by Monday, February 6th
  • Publish a robot reveal video on YouTube by Friday, March 24th

Results-based Goals:

  • Play on a playoff alliance at both regional events
  • Top half of teams in terms of OPR at both events
  • Qualify for the FIRST World Championships
  • Be an alliance captain at one or more events

Awards-based Goals:

  • Win Impact Award and/or Engineering Inspiration Award at the regional level
  • Impact Award documentation is complete in time for 3 full rehearsals in front of judges
  • High quality Impact Award video shared on YouTube by Friday, March 10th
  • Prepare a well-structured business plan and judging handouts for regional events

Our Goals (capital letter) never change. Learn useful things. Enjoy the experience. Win stuff. These are in roughly the order of priority recognizing that Enjoyment might not be the same as having goofy fun every darn minute. Pride in overcoming adversity for instance is highly enjoyable. Winning stuff is external recognition of a job well done, and is worth it for that alone. Oh, and while getting clobbered is educational it makes the Enjoyment side of things harder!

I set specific goals/predictions for the team every year at about this time. But I don’t announce them. Last year it was: Do two Regionals. Winning record. Be in elim rounds at least once. Win a significant award. Goals were met and exceeded, elims twice, all the way to finals once, Dean’s List Regional win.

I just tell them the sort of things they can achieve with hard work and a seasoning of luck (game that reflects our build strengths, Fortuna smiling just a bit regards random qualification alliance draws). I think we are capable of doing some pretty cool stuff over the next two seasons, given our large pool of veterans and that we are riding good momentum.

But other than maybe the theatrics of putting my predictions into a sealed envelope I’ll let them figure out the details. It’s their team. They don’t work for me, I work for them.

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