“We’re going to do a project”: a sentence that leads to mixed feelings in a lot of organizations. People are excited that there is a plan to build on the future. But on the other hand, they look back to projects in the past where it went wrong from the start.
So how can you make a project a fun experience? Something everyone really enjoys from the start on?
First thing is the mindset. Everyone involved should have the same clear mindset about where you are going and what you will experience. If you believe the only thing that the project will bring is misery, then listen up. Yes, there will be moments where you will use the f-word to describe everything around you. But how about all the small victories along the way? They should be celebrated!
Second important thing is to define clear roles and responsibilities – who does what in the project. There is nothing more unpleasant then being held responsible for something you did not know was expected of you. Ideally, the roles and functions within the team are divided taking into account team members core competences, preferences or areas they want to develop in.
And how about a drink with the team after a shitty day to ventilate about it and finding a solution together? Instead of just going home alone, losing your sleep at night, and not coming up with a solution at all?
In most cases, you are not alone. There’s a team. And believe it or not, but fun is created by a motivated team that supports each other, in good and bad times. Why else would you show up at work every day? You are all in this together! It all comes down to building a good atmosphere among your team members and colleagues. Nothing is fun unless you make it fun!
Going for a drink in bad times is a must, but you should get together in good times as well! In fact, a regular drink on the first Thursday of the month should be standard. Whenever there has been a shitty day or week, you just go for an extra drink on a random day to support one another. Or go and get fries or another take-away for lunch on a Friday. Or take weekend-leftovers of cakes on a Monday morning to share. Or celebrate birthdays or random ‘World This or That’-days with pastries from the delicious local bakery. At least have a coffee break together at a random hour. And go for a 5-minute walk to catch some fresh air and talk about other things than the project.
And when hard times come up (and I assure you they will), you ‘ll have the energy to handle it, together. By defining who owns what and by spending time together throughout the project, you will get to know each other’s strengths. That will enable you to function as a team, also in crisis moments. There’s nothing more fun being part of a team that functions like well-oiled machine.
Try it. You ‘ll find out that these examples are the small things that make people enjoy working together on the project, especially when the going gets tough. And to be there for each other when someone is having a hard time. With a good laugh, even the most stressful times are far more bearable then when you just have ‘another day at the office’. As long as you put effort in off-topic fun initiatives, you will enjoy your projects.
At Cyclops, everyone invests time in these fun things. All of our people try to motivate others, thinking about team activities we can do outside working hours, only to connect and create strong bonds. Here we know that the fun comes from the experience with your team members. Colleagues turn into what is called ‘frolleagues’. However, in my humble opinion, at Cyclops we are not just colleagues. We are all friends.