Product is crafted by people. It is not a sum of collaborative work. It’s usually a combination of work, excitement, collaborative ideas, feedback loop inside the team throughout the whole project lifecycle.
Passion is right at the heart of every person, and if environment tends to motivate – a person will work hard to achieve a good result (appreciated by the team and himself). Moreover, working with passionate team amplifies the overall product, makes it bigger than sum of efforts.
I approach to motivation as to a three-factor equation.
- Excitement about the project (and willingness to work on it)
- Ability to apply your skills (and improve them)
- Compensational part
Let’s leave out compensational part. Let’s also make a note, that such approach doesn’t work on lousy boring projects.
The rest two points are extremely transparent, if you work in a smaller companies with more or less ‘flat’ hierarchy and informal communication.
Excitement about the project comes from inspiration. It could be something cool, that brings value to the market. Aspirational team, that challenges you, while you challenge them. This makes it extremely easy to go & do your job day by day. Such teams later stick together, even working on different products, to exchange ideas and share experience (as we did with Ufa42 Conference).
Once the project is exciting, challenging – person starts to work hard in order to bring his valuable contribution. Developer, manager, designer, analyst – everyone is involved into general decisions, everyone is able to improve the product from the inside. Which means he can apply his skills in a good way, practice fresh approaches and technics, learn on mistakes, tune the workflow.
However, lack of involvement in product creation (aside from simply doing your job), vertical hierarchy and formal chain of command – it all kills the motivation. This brings us back to our equation: team is unhappy, not motivated = product not exciting. World doesn’t need boring products. Don’t forget: awesome pros won’t stick with something dull for a long time, they will leave as soon as they can. And we all know, that finding great teams is something almost impossible 🙂