At 29,029 feet, Mt. Everest isn’t one of those natural wonders that can be climbed in just a few weeks. Anyone who has ever reached the summit knows it’s a long journey over two solid months. That journey has to be broken up into five camps at different elevations to help climbers adjust to the altitude.
Breaking up the ascent also gives climbers a psychological boost—a sense of progress and accomplishment—to cope with the feeling that they may never reach the top. Big projects can loom and intimidate, just like Everest, and that is why it’s vital to set up smaller goals within the framework of the larger project.
Set small goals for your team by breaking large projects into smaller iterations with achievable goals at the end of each iteration. Each iteration should ideally deliver something tangible that can be built upon to get to the end goal of the project showing consistent progress. Supporting the team in making this incremental progress while ensuring they do not overcommit during each iteration will increase engagement and improves morale. Partial efforts and unfinished work should be avoided where possible: It creates a sense of failure and slows down momentum.
Help your team to understand what winning and success feel like by breaking projects into smaller parts and celebrating each small victory. Setting the bar high is a worthy goal, but not at the cost of never reaching that goal. All great goals can be achieved if you break them down into achievable smaller goals.
- Plan tasks that are reasonable and achievable within the iteration timeframe
- Encourage your team to not overcommit but be realistic
- Use the completion of smaller goals to build positivity within your team
- Small wins and achievements help to drive momentum within teams