From my experience, there are three conditions that are needed to successfully achieve goals in product management:
A definition of success as well as a strategy on how to achieve it.
If we want to achieve concrete goals, there is no substitute for clarity in the first step:
- A simple, understandable and concrete definition of what we want to accomplish and under what circumstances success will be achieved.
- A coherent, comprehensible strategy of how we intend to achieve this goal together.
Simon Sinek legitimately points out that the why can have a strong motivating effect on all team members towards the realization of these goals. At least if the why is inspiring and coherent with the values of the participants.
Ensure alignment of goals within the organization
Decisions are made at every level in organizations. Leaders make decisions with their teams for their particular area and try to implement them together.
If vision, strategies, goals and decisions are not broken down logically from the top of the organization, there is a lack of goal alignment. The more extreme this becomes, the less likely it is that all goals will be achieved. In extreme cases, departments work against each other.
At the same time, employees can choose from a wide range of different goals the ones that suit them best or from which they benefit the most. This allows them to work on tasks that do not contribute to some goals and still be at ease with themselves.
Lastly, goal alignment solves major problems wherever there are dependencies on other team members, other teams, or other departments. If not everyone has different goals, prioritizing each other’s support is rarely a problem.
Ensure necessary skills and resources
Another reason why teams and employees fail is the sheer ability to execute a mission.
This may be rooted in personal ability and experience. In this case, proper staffing or further coaching and training is relevant. In addition to professional skills, employees should also know methods for achieving goals as efficiently as possible (e.g., tackle the most difficult tasks and greatest risks first, etc.). These topics can be discussed and addressed in individual 1:1 meetings.
The given budget and time allocation as well as the composition of the teams should also fit the goals since employees cannot define them themselves.
Ensuring all these aspects is the leader’s responsibility.