I believe that for projects to excel and evolve into WOW projects it is not sufficient to focus on project objectives and even less so on requirements. One of the reasons is that they are subject to change. If involved project members and stakeholders believe them to constitute the foundation for the project, such changes ought to lead to terminate the project, unless they don’t really know what they want to do or strive for.
Successful WOW projects are characterized by a strong, commonly understood and supported motivation and vision by all involved parties.
- The motivation describes why the project starts in the first place. This could be a problem that needs to be resolved or an idea worth exploring.
- The vision delineates the ideal state in contrast to, for example, the problem that triggered the project.
Both motivation and vision are long-lasting, they are not necessarily time bound. Unlike projects which are time-boxed, having a start and finish date. Corollary, motivation and vision set the overall direction of a movement of which a project is a stepping stone. In other words, motivation and vision may serve as a compass during the complete project life cycle. Project objectives and requirements may change, the motivation and vision don’t. If they did, a project lacks the necessary foundation of existence; if continued it may become a zombie project but that’s pretty much it.
In short, for projects to excel and evolve into WOW projects you need the full understanding and support of your MVP – motivation, vision and project goals – by all project team members and stakeholders.
Sparks for WOW projects
Developing an MVP for a project is the first prerequisite for developing successful WOW projects. It doesn’t stop there. Project work is teamwork. Hence, it is equally important to develop MVP’s for both the team and the individuals.
Regarding the latter, individuals, project leadership ought to provide the space for individual team members to identify and share their personal MVP’s, i.e., what motivates them to work on the project, what they envision and what concrete goals they may have. Sharing personal MVP’s may be strange for some people. But then, if you are seriously interested in developing and sustaining a successful WOW project wouldn’t you want your teammates to know what drives you, what you expect, what you want to contribute and vice versa?! Sharing personal MVP’s helps move a group of individuals closer together and thus contribute to team building.
Finally, aligning all three MVP dimensions – project, individual and team – is where magic can happen; it is the spark for WOW projects. It takes teamwork to the next level. It is like three separate entities moving into the same direction at an accelerated pace, not because of external pressure but intrinsic motivation. The outcomes are greater happiness, productivity, quality and, last but not least, results.
Build your MVP’s for project success
Even the longest journey starts with the first step. On this token, I encourage you and your team to have a closer look at your own project(s). Please let me know if you’d like me to help you build WOW projects through customized workshops and trainings. Workshops can be as short as 2 hours or several days depending on your needs. Or, if you like, I can accompany your journey over a period of several weeks through coaching and consulting.