Why is it so important that the projects you run are not only well managed but are engaging and enjoyable?
Author: Joe Heapy
When you’re guiding a group of colleagues through a service design and development process, your likelihood of success gets much better if the people doing the work are really engaged, enjoying it and therefore prepared to find the extra time and effort needed to make it a success.
With the right people, a well-designed project and a well-conceived purpose, the whole thing is easier. With these boxes ticked, the enjoyment comes from bringing originality to the tasks, the chance to exercise new skills and, frankly, a dose of fun.
Like it or not, we’re all drawn to the fun and interesting stuff
Many projects and initiatives compete for attention and resources. The successful ones have a small number of people at the centre who all ‘get it’, want to commit their time and tap their networks for support. They’re personally motivated to commit effort, and are likely to have bet that a positive outcome will benefit them personally in some way.
Beyond this core, the wider team need something more to feel motivated. This group may not anticipate a job promotion, but they’ll be drawn to the projects that give them a chance to demonstrate their subject expertise, to learn new skills or work in a new way with new people. It’s important to recognise what motivates people to commit, and in some cases to commit more than they otherwise would, to the outcomes of the project. Ultimately the work should. in some way feel purposeful and rewarding for all those involved. (This doesn’t mean it always has to be fun, but even better if it is.)
“I really enjoyed working on this project with Engine, it has been detailed, well-planned and thought through”
Head of Retail Experience, Telco/Media sector client.
There’s often too much for senior decision-makers to direct or evaluate on their own
Those senior in an organisation often feel the burden of leadership - feeling they’re expected to have the brightest and most definitive ideas, that they should somehow know exactly the direction to take. Although they may eventually have to make the call, the design of a service and the experience customers have of it - particularly in a complex organisation - is always a team effort. From market insight to strategy, to design and deployment, one person cannot have all the answers - hence the importance of a well-designed project.
The people who don’t normally get to inform the solution have important expertise and ideas to give
The design-led approach thrives on collaboration, vertically and horizontally in organisations, in three important ways: Firstly, awareness and buy-in, which reduces the likelihood of blockages down the line. Secondly, in the robustness of the thinking gained through contact with a range of colleagues and customers that informs design and decision-making. And thirdly, by distributing the burden of decision-making to the team, customers and to the process of design itself (for example, through collaborative evaluation techniques and prototyping).
Positive feedback on the project from key stakeholders unlocks resources and encourages other projects and teams to align
An engaging project that proves its value early by attracting the time and resources of the right people will in turn channel positive feedback upwards to senior influencers and budget holders. Positive feedback from key people becomes the ‘social proof’ of the value of the project, giving others the confidence to commit.
Five questions to check whether your project is the one that’s drawing people in
- Are people excited about starting the project?
- Is early feedback good and are senior people starting to talk about your project?
- Are people now making the time to take part (including the sceptics)?
- Are you attracting new inputs or new requests for help from other teams?
- Do other business areas want to learn from what you’re doing?
If you’d like to be the proud owner of a project that others in your organisation are drawn to, we can help.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want the full story?
Enter your full name and email to download.