Motivation for the project

Why is motivation important for a project?

Projects have a limited running time and uncertainty is inherent. Constant challenges and fast changes between successes and disappointments can quickly lead to frustration. A positive prevailing mood is essential in order to cope with rapidly changing and high demands. Motivation and pleasure are the central elements that will carry a project through difficult phases and right through to the end.

Therefore if a team is motivated and is regarding the project as a positive challenge, collaboration and the project’s progress as a whole will greatly benefit.

How is motivation created?

A good and motivated team is not self-evident. Conditions must be right and personal motivation must be nurtured. According to current knowledge, motivation is an internal process. This means that individuals react positively to inspiring and exciting stimuli and can be motivated. On the other hand, inner motivation is negatively influenced by disruptive stimuli or crippling conditions. It is up to the project manager to create or promote the conditions that will instill enthusiasm and motivation in his team. Two factors are crucial: successful team development processes and working conditions that are on the whole conducive to team work.

How does a process of team development further motivation?

In a team, there must be room for both professionalism and emotions. Exemplary planning is useless if expectations regarding teamwork or ideas in regard to problem solving are different. Team building is an important method for strengthening and promoting motivation. The process includes the selection of the team, team building and support measures and also the dissolution of the team at the end of the project. The most important aspect in this process is the creation of optimal conditions for good collaboration within the team. A successful team is a productive group capable of working and learning together. Such a team has a clearly defined and accepted structure, rules accepted by all and motivated and flexible enough to accept new challenges time and again. Team development does not start with the first conflictual situation. The foundations for good teamwork are laid in the starting phase (cf. Initial retreat).

Thinking regularly about the way the team collaborates, learns and resolves disagreements is crucial for successful team development. This process needs to be given sufficient time. Several factors are important for keeping a team content and motivated. It is the interplay of such factors that determines if motivation for the project can be maintained throughout the length of the project or if it will decrease or increase. Some such factors are:

  • A challenging project (neither excessive demands nor too easy to accomplish)
  • Success
  • Adequate remuneration
  • Acknowledgement and praise for good work
  • Mutual and constructive feedback
  • A good working relationship between project team and cooperation partners
  • Attractive working conditions in the executing institution

Important for teamwork and team building are so-called soft factors. Required personal skills are advisory skills, ability to deal with conflict and ability to integrate. Required competencies for team leaders are team building skills, communication skills and mediating skills.

Working conditions

Working conditions play an important role in the collaborators' motivation. Ideally, they allow the team members to concentrate fully on the tasks required by the project; adverse working conditions absorb energies and diminish motivation. Working conditions include: conditions of employment (models for flexible working time), working atmosphere, inter-project tasks within the executing institution, variety of themes in the executing institution, team development, organizational development and quality development, opportunities for consultation with colleagues, intervision and supervision within the institution.

Bibliographical references

  • Mackin,D. (2007). The team building tool kit: tips and tactics for effective workplace teams. 2nd ed. New York: Amacom Books.
  • You are fully concentrated on your professional work and you see no need for improving the team members’ motivation.
  • You expect motivation to be a prerequisite for working on the project.e project?
  • Implementing concrete, specific measures will develop a positive and motivating atmosphere in the team.
  • If you can maintain motivation, you will have a dedicated, committed and resilient team by the end of the project.
  • Consider team development as an important task in your project
  • Start your project with a retreat for the whole team and use it for fostering good collaboration and team work.
  • Are you aware of the factors that lead to high or low motivation?
  • Have yearly goals been formulated for the team leaders and for the team members?
  • Are you aware of the factors that lead to high or low motivation?
Last modification: 30 August, 2010 21:26