Just the other day amidst working on what would be classified as a longer term client engagement for DockYard, I was reminded of the power of ‘Why’. One of the most wonderful things about being human (and what separates us from machines) is that we are motivated by many different things both in our personal and professional lives.
When it comes to working on projects which involve the design & development of a product not owned by our company, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of just churning out “Deliverables” and forgetting what you’re actually contributing to in the greater scheme of things. A good work environment, generous compensation and work life balance can only go so far. High performing teams also need to know and feel that they are contributing to the world they live in - sometimes in an evolutionary way and sometimes a very revolutionary way.
One important distinction which sometimes gets missed - “why” is very different from “how”. “How” is much more easily defined.
- How = adverb. In what way or manner; by what means.
- Why = adverb. For what reason or purpose.
It might come as a surprise to some of our clients how personally vested we get in their products even though we may be acting as supporting cast. You have to consider that we essentially live and breathe our clients’ products while they are in development. We think about it during our workday, we think about it while commuting and we think about while taking a shower - TMI perhaps! After many months of contributing to a product’s evolution, to maintain motivation, we must remind ourselves ‘Why’ we are there in the first place.
Passionate product owners are those who always provide their team with a compass heading towards an eventual goal. The path to get there is twisty and bumpy but at end of the day the team knows what the end game looks like and how it contributes to the world. As an agency we are always looking to amplify this real-world connection for our team members to make sure they feel aligned with the overall product objective. Our Project Management team at DockYard shouldered this responsibility, making sure they stay aligned to our clients’ compass throughout the project journey. This will no doubt allow our team to better navigate that twisty/bumpy path towards the overall product objective while at the same time providing a motivating work environment for our most valued company resource: the employees.