In the previous posts (part 1 and part 2) we watched the replay of the 2006 Football World Cup match – Argentina vs Serbia & Montenegro. Argentina’s focus on scoring the goal was complete. It was total and complete focus on one thing – the goal. We said that this was exactly what is needed for projects also. A completely goal focused team.

We started analyzing the inherent need for a goal focused team for a project to succeed and discussed three aspects – Clarity and alignment of individual goals; need for a well equipped team; teamwork; and the importance of a learning team.

In this concluding post of the series we will look at two other aspects of a goal focused team.

Motivated Self

Argentina’s 2002 world cup debacle was clearly due to lack of motivation. They had a good coach, Marcelo Bielsa. They had good team with quality players like Walter Samuel, Pablo Aimar, Juan Sorin and others. They were one of the favorites. But, what happened?

While individual motivation was clearly there, team motivation must have been lacking. Yes. Both are needed to make a successful team.

Similarly, in a software project, we need to ensure that there is motivation at both the individual level and in the project context.

How does one apply this in the software project environment? The coach of a football team or the project manager of a project should understand individual differences in motivation and take steps to address these individual motivational factors.

One of the things that we have learned is that motivational levels increase when you have a clear idea of your career path and when your project manager and the organisation facilitates your career path and progression. This is true always.

And people should have the desire to be successful whatever the hurdles in their way. We can think of the footballer Styliyan Petrov of Bulgaria who overcame acute leukemia and went through painful sessions of chemotherapy and still managed to stage a comeback.

Motivation in the project context

Motivation in the project context can come when each member of the team feels responsible for a solution that is to be implemented. For this, participation and involvement in solution development is the key thing. And also, team participation in project decision making.

And all this is helped if there is a learning environment. And this motivation made apparent when you see individuals and the team going the extra mile to meet commitments.

This concludes our three-part (part 1, part 2, part 3)series on the importance of a goal focused team for executing projects.

We watched the replay of the 2006 Football World Cup match – Argentina vs Serbia & Montenegro and tried to draw some lessons that may be relevant for software projects.

Argentina’s focus on scoring the goal was complete. And this is exactly what is needed for projects also. A completely goal focused team.

We said that a goal focused team is key to the success of a project. It is a key vital sign that gives a broad pointer to the overall health of the project.

These posts are excerpts from an upcoming book from PM Power on Project Health called “A Project Health Assessment Framework”. We have referred to this book in a previous blog post.

We have also referred to the subject matter of book in other posts:

Please read the above posts to get a clear idea of the context of this book.