Achievable vs. Realistic - Differences and Definitions

W

Wow bigat

#1
Hi All,

I’m new here and this is my first post. I have learned that when we set an objective it should be SMART to be effective. But I am a bit confused about the difference between “achievable” and “realistic”. It sounds the same.:confused:

Please enlighten me.
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Thank you
:)[/FONT]
 
#2
Re: What is the difference between achievable and realistic?

Hi All,

I’m new here and this is my first post. I have learned that when we set an objective it should be SMART to be effective. But I am a bit confused about the difference between “achievable” and “realistic”. It sounds the same.:confused:

Please enlighten me.
[FONT=&quot]
Thank you
:)[/FONT]
Welcome to the Cove. :tg:
Something could be achievable but not realistic; just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should.
 
W

Wow bigat

#3
Re: What is the difference between achievable and realistic?

Thank you, Jim. This is the way I understand your explanation: Given that objective is achievable i still have to find out if i have the factors something like skills, commitment, time to accomplish the objective to make it realistic.
 
#4
Re: What is the difference between achievable and realistic?

Thank you, Jim. This is the way I understand your explanation: Given that objective is achievable i still have to find out if i have the factors something like skills, commitment, time to accomplish the objective to make it realistic.
Well, that's one way to look at it. SMART is just a clever mnemonic device, not a set of specific requirements. These days (especially in places where Six Sigma is being done) there are a lot of things being measured that don't need to be measured, or can't be measured accurately. The "realistic" part of SMART means that whatever the objective is, it should be something that (a) needs to be measured and (b) will result in something being improved.
 

DrM2u

Inactive Registered Visitor
#5
Re: What is the difference between achievable and realistic?

Hi All,

I’m new here and this is my first post. I have learned that when we set an objective it should be SMART to be effective. But I am a bit confused about the difference between “achievable” and “realistic”. It sounds the same.:confused:

Please enlighten me.
[FONT=&quot]
Thank you
:)[/FONT]
I like to look at the two this way: 'what could be done' and 'what can be done'. For example, it is achievable for each one of us to become a super-star in one field or another but realistically only a few of us want/pursue/are given the opportunity to do it. It terms of goals and objectives, 100% on-time delivery is achievable but realistically 99.5% is a very good performance also (depending on what area we are talking about).
 
#6
Re: What is the difference between achievable and realistic?

I like to look at the two this way: 'what could be done' and 'what can be done'. For example, it is achievable for each one of us to become a super-star in one field or another but realistically only a few of us want/pursue/are given the opportunity to do it. It terms of goals and objectives, 100% on-time delivery is achievable but realistically 99.5% is a very good performance also (depending on what area we are talking about).
Without understanding (and being able to control) the variation that contributes to 100% on-time delivery, we can't say that it's achievable or realistic.
 

DrM2u

Inactive Registered Visitor
#7
Re: What is the difference between achievable and realistic?

Without understanding (and being able to control) the variation that contributes to 100% on-time delivery, we can't say that it's achievable or realistic.
Exactly my point ... everyhting is 'achievable' if we understand and control all the variables and variation involved. The 'realistic' is based on what we realy understand and can control. Think about the presidential election process in the US; how much does the average person understand and control for their favorite candidate to be a winner or a weener?
 
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bpugazhendhi

#8
Re: What is the difference between Achievable and Realistic?

All the above discussions in one way or other suggest that 'realistic' and 'achievable' are two different qualities and that many a times they cannot coexist. In that case how one can ensure that one's objectives or goals are both realistic and achievable at the same time? Does that mean that one should choose only such objectives or goals that are both realistic and achievable? Ofcourse such a course sounds logical and practical!
 

samsung

Inactive Registered Visitor
#9
Re: What is the difference between Achievable and Realistic?

All the above discussions in one way or other suggest that 'realistic' and 'achievable' are two different qualities and that many a times they cannot coexist. In that case how one can ensure that one's objectives or goals are both realistic and achievable at the same time? Does that mean that one should choose only such objectives or goals that are both realistic and achievable? Ofcourse such a course sounds logical and practical!
This is just my own interpretation. Look at the opposites of these two terms, UNREALISTIC means 'impracticable' (but not 'impossible) - like operating this machine for 18 hrs. a day is not 'impossible' but not practicable (on a sustained basis). Similarly UNACHIEVABLE means something which cannot be accomplished (with available resources or infrastructure) but to make it happen, additional resources may be required to be put in. e.g. Producing 20 tonnes per hour of the produce is not achievable with this machine (but can be made 'achievable' if extra maintenance is done or additional staff is deployed for monitoring critical parameters or 'improved' spares are made available etc. etc.)

That's why it is always advisable to set the targets within the system's capabilities while ensuring that you are able to achieve those targets on a sustained basis.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
Re: What is the difference between Achievable and Realistic?

Dr. Deming stated the equivalent of "if it is so achievable and realistic - why aren't you doing it already?"

There are alternatives to "SMART" goals and the like. Understand the results of the process you are getting. If it is stable and predictable (quite likely) then you need to determine - do you need to improve? If you need to improve, you need to plan an improvement (preferable on a small scale), do the small scale improvement, study the results (was a statistically significant improvement in results achieved?), and then act on a large scale.
 

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