Listening to conferences, webinars and podcasts, it’s easy to find organizations that have made significant wins on the project to product journey. It’s also easy to gloss over the significant challenges that were overcome along the journey when you’ve only got 45 minutes to tell a story that took two+ years to unfold. The journey from project to product can be long, sometimes hard, but always worth it. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment in helping an organization thrive in the Age of Software and create a culture that empowers individuals to contribute to something bigger than themselves. As you begin your journey, realize it may take a few years before you’re on the stage of the conference sharing your story. The time you spend between this first step and that eventual step will have days of amazing progression forward as well as days when you wonder if anyone is understanding the bigger picture at all. Be patient with yourself and others.
Big wins take time, you’re playing for more than a single game … this journey is all about your north star, that aspirational future state you dream about, and steady progress. As we mentioned in an earlier blog, start small and spend time building relationships and trust with others in your organization that are journeying with you.
Spending time listening to your team will help you understand their unique perspective and the challenges they face. This deep level of empathy will work wonders toward giving you patience with those who seem to be slowing progress and build the resilience you’ll need to weather the road ahead.
Be patient with yourself on this journey
When we look back in life on years gone by, the most memorable things weren’t the easiest or the fastest. We remember challenges we overcame: the bigger the challenge and the bigger the effort to overcome it, the more satisfaction we feel in the end. Take time to document the path along the way, whether it’s a personal journal, an internal company blog or notes from regular executive reviews, it’s helpful to reflect on the journey and remember how far you’ve come. Every company has unique challenges, unique individuals and as a result a unique path of improvement.
To encourage your personal journey, we facilitate an ongoing series of roundtables for peers to connect and share their successes and challenges. These are small group discussions where you will find yourself getting and offering encouragement along the way. We regularly hear from participants these sessions are key to maintaining momentum throughout a project to product transformation. You can find a session that’s right for you at the Flow Institute.