Understand the Why

Discover how asking ‘Why?’ before starting any tech project can align our efforts with our company’s goals, transforming our approach to innovation and ensuring every line of code delivers real value.

By Stephan Schulze

As someone deeply entrenched in the world of technology and development, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of aligning our work with the overarching goals of our organizations. During a conference talk, I delved into a subject close to my heart: the imperative of understanding the ‘why’ behind our projects before embarking on the ‘how’.

It’s a philosophy I’ve lived by, and today, I want to share with you how this mindset has not only shaped my approach to technology but also how it can redefine the impact of our work on the businesses we serve.

Embracing the Value-First Approach

In our pursuit of innovation, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new technologies or methodologies. However, without a clear understanding of the purpose behind a project, we risk misaligning our efforts with the actual needs of our business. This is where the value-first approach comes into play. Before writing a single line of code, I recommend to ask yourself:

  • Why does this project matter?
  • What problem are we solving, and for whom?
  • How does this align with our strategic objectives?
  • What is the value proposition of this project?

These questions guide us towards projects that not only challenge us technically but also contribute significantly to our organization’s success. This approach ensures that our work is meaningful, aligning with both personal fulfillment and business objectives.

Leadership and the Art of Alignment

As leaders in technology, we bear the responsibility of steering our teams toward projects that resonate with our company’s mission. This involves articulating the vision and strategic importance of each initiative, ensuring our teams are not just busy but meaningfully engaged. It’s about creating an environment where the link between individual effort and company success is clear and valued.

I’ve found that maintaining an open dialogue with teams is crucial. Their insights from the front lines often illuminate how projects can be better aligned with our business goals. This collaborative approach ensures our strategic vision is reflected in our development projects, creating a shared sense of purpose and direction.

Strategic Resource Allocation

Understanding the ‘why’ has profound implications for how we allocate our most precious asset: our people. In the tech industry, where talented developers are in high demand, it’s paramount that we harness their skills on projects that promise the most significant impact. This doesn’t mean shunning challenging or complex projects. Instead, it’s about ensuring that every project we undertake serves a strategic purpose, maximizing both our impact and our growth.

Reflecting on Our Journey

Looking back, make sure the of your technological endeavors are aligned with your strategic goals.

It’s a practice that has not only enhanced the value of our projects but has also fostered a culture of purposeful innovation. As we continue to navigate the complexities of the tech landscape, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to understanding the ‘why’. It’s in this understanding that we find the key to unlocking not just technological excellence, but also meaningful progress towards a shared vision.