About three weeks ago one of the team members asked me “Do we have short-term goals? How will we understand for example in a month if we’re good or not?”. It took me a moment to realize that I had ones but I hadn’t forgotten them with the team. So I promised to write them down and share.

A set of short-term goals I created included both qualitative and absolute quantitative goals. Some examples are:

  • minimum 5 happy users who create kudos 3-4 times per week;
  • a number of visits per week grows steadily;
  • a number of new kudos per week grows steadily.

Another team member pinged me in a couple of days after I had shared those goals:

"Hey, are we going to use SEO? I know a great guy who can help us with it."

"What? Why the hell do we need SEO?"

After a small chat we decided to postpone the discussion till the next day when we had a planned team Skype talk. During that team talk he finally said:

"OK, explain me then how are we going to achieve those goals?"

Gotcha! The moment of truth! As soon as I described the short-term goals some team members forgot about a long-term value and started to think how to get fast results.

Short-term goals (especially formulated in absolute values) are easy to be gamed. If you start to tie your product's success or team rewards to them, you're doomed.

For me short-term goals are something nice to achieve and a good reason to retrospect. And nothing more. I'm glad we got a chance to talk about the importance of short-term goals so early. It means we didn't lose any very valuable time or money :).

This is my #kudo to Sanja for opening the discussion. Do not hesitate to appreciate your colleagues, send a kudo!