How to make routine repetitive work more exciting for our team? That was the challenge put forward by the CEO of a manufacturing company who sells surgical equipment. The 60-year-old company is trying to reinvent the way they work. I did a workshop for them for their team and figured out how to make work exciting by using a new method called ‘Sprint Projects’. We divided the entire team into different project teams and the energy level was so high in the room. They are self-directed teams with the goals set by them – they put names for their project teams, selected a leader, charted out a detailed plan to be achieved in a short span of time – mostly 10-40 days. Even the low energy team members were inspired to do more. They were aware how the other project teams are doing and the sense of urgency to do more than others make the ‘Sprint Projects’ an instant success. It is like putting a shark on the tank of fishes with low energy. They move fast to survive.
Work sounds boring for people with the employee mindset. Projects have a definite start and end, sense of clear purpose, a specific goal which can be measured during the project and at the end of it – that too with minimal resources, tight team – followed by a celebration! Some project teams even plan the celebration – following the begin with the end in mind principle. This is what people love. Projects or events raise the energy of the team 5x making it possible to achieve things which otherwise they would label as demanding or impractical. In a world of instant gratification, where we want instant feedback for everything, only projects can help team members to learn in a definite period of time, without waiting for a conventional performance appraisal. The longer people wait to know how they are doing – the harder it becomes to internalize learning from work. Projects give instant feedback. It helps us to learn. It gives us the opportunity to do it better next time, without losing time.