One of the questions I hear often from new Delivery Managers is, why doesn’t my team ‘get it’? Why don’t they understand what’s at stake? Why don’t they understand what the client needs like I do? In fact, in any endeavor, understanding the why is the hardest part. Once you understand the why (if there is one), the How and What become much clearer.
When you’re developing a software product, it’s usually easy to connect the why to what you’re doing. I use the payroll platform Gusto, and their why is pretty easy: To make payroll easy for small businesses. That’s why they exist. If you were a developer for Gusto, you could point to that any time you needed to figure out if you should take course of action A or B. “Does this make payroll easier for small businesses?” If the answer is yes, do it, if not, do something else.
For enterprise software, ‘why’ is a muddier concept, but is still critically important in helping to paint the picture. If your team is struggling to deliver features, or to make visible progress, the first step is to be sure you have a “why”, and that you’ve communicated it, often.
If you struggle with understanding why your team does what they do, or you’re a software developer and you don’t ‘get it’, this talk by Simon Sinek will help.