Technical teams motivation

Technical teams motivation

Technical team motivation

During my whole professional experience I always wondering what is the most important factor of technical project success. This question is important although for every day work and our side projects. I also reveal that during the work on start up projects we can meet this problem.

Project success factor

We can’t definitely say that it is one the most important success factor for sure. Great skills of team members, outstanding idea or good architecture can be important, but it means nothing without one the factor.


We can create a great team composed of friends and helpful folks but if we don’t take a special consideration about people motivation we can just stay with a technically masterpiece but not finished project at the end. Also without motivation team can be not as productive as it should be. It is harmful for project creation. We can see this in almost every project.

On regular commercial projects we can observe different phases of interests. At the beginning when we try to solve some problems we have big motivation. We can see a direct impact on our customers. We encounter many initial problems and we can solve it. People have many interesting work to do. But after some time all this willingness to work may disappear. Then we will have a much less desire to give our energy for that projects. This is especially visible in further – maintenance phase of projects. Some people on this moment can take a decision to change a job, which could be damaging for project.

It is also happens when we are working on our side projects or start ups. In these cases, I can say that, it is even more important to keep motivation of our team. When we are working on some project without any financial gratification, we should know what can motivate your team and do this.

Moving motivators

The first part of motivation management is to identify what is the motivators of your people. We can ask them directly, but let’s think for a while if you are able to specify and name what motivates you the most in your every day work or in side projects. Probably it won’t be easy. It was quite hard exercise for me at the beginning. Just as for your team mates.

However some times ago my friend introduced me an interesting tool, that help me to identify our motivations. It is Moving Motivators. This conception define 10 groups of motivation factors:

  • acceptance
  • curiosity
  • freedom
  • status
  • goal
  • honor
  • mastery
  • order
  • power
  • relatedness

The main part of this method is defining which motivators is the most important for you.

  1. At first you should place them in order from left – least important to right – the most important.
  2. Then you can tell how you think that these motivators are fulfilled in current project. Move card up if project positively affect this motivation and down otherwise.
  3. At the end you can think what can you do to move your all motivations up (especially these more important).

That’s all. This is very simple but powerful method that can gives you a very comprehensive view of your team motivations. Everyone has a different view, so it is important to do this individually.

Now you can print that cards and try it on your team mates.

What do you think about that method? What is your method to explore and improve people motivations?

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