Find the purpose of your project with three simple questions

What is the purpose of your project or project justification? Are you able to build a strong business case for your next project?

Life is difficult. People make it more difficult. If the purpose is known, it becomes much clearer. Rather than turning into a life coach right now, find the purpose of the project.

When the work is no longer the reward, and you do not get paid enough for these kinds of issues, it takes a reframing of why you are doing what you are doing. Finding the purpose of your work helps you to get back on track.

Peter Diamandis, the founder of the X Prize Foundation, gives his audience three questions to help find their purpose. While these questions are specifically related to an individual’s pursuits, I will reframe them in reference to a project.

Three questions to ask yourself when finding your project purpose:

 1. What did you want to do when you were a child before anybody told you what you were supposed to do? (Diamandis, 2016)

A project manager of course!

I doubt that was your answer. Astronaut, President, firefighter, and model are more likely closer to your answer. Putting out fires in the managing sense probably was not atop the list.

To reframe this question, what did you want this project to be when it first started? I am sure the direction and positioning of things has changed since the beginning but try to remember that kickoff meeting where everyone thinks they are winning the Super Bowl. Every team starts out 0-0. Contenders start to separate themselves five to six weeks into the season.

At this point, you start to realize this project is failing. There is no Super Bowl this year. You are not even going to make the playoffs. Now the goal becomes to play out the season, or project, like it, still matters. Make something from nothing.

2. What was it you wanted to become?

A project manager of course!

Again, probably not the answer. Happy and successful are probably at the top of this list. Walking the red carpet amongst the rich and famous. Bright lights staring back at you as the world focuses their attention on what you are wearing.

Instead, what was it you wanted this product or service to become? Making the most money seems like a valiant idea until greed comes into play. All of a sudden, your friends at the beginning become your lifelong enemies at the end. The quality of the product starts to suffer because you are cutting costs to make more profit.

3. What did you want to do more than anything else?

A project manager of course! (Is that joke tired yet?)

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