The hardest part about being a product manager is that, in most cases, you don't have direct reports. Most tools for motivating employees come in the form of being the person's boss. When you don't have that type of authority, your most effective alternative is to inspire people with the feature set of your product. Will your product make life easier for someone? Will your product generate innovation? Will your product help people express themselves?
Marketing materials will focus on the consumer need to solve a specific problem. Those messages typically do not inspire the people who make the product. The messaging you should use to motivate people to work on your product is the messaging of an evangelist—someone who is helping people see the truth, kindness and whatever else they want to be a part of by working on your product. Which is to say, you need to give the teams what they want, and that is an elevated sense of purpose.
Some products naturally make you think you're changing the world. Most products are more mundane. One of the best systems to address this way of thinking is OKRs. If you keep track of product development in OKR software then you are practically forced to talk about your product in terms that inspire the troops to work with more passion and focus.
OKRs are ostensibly a way to keep multiple stakeholders focused on the final product. But it's not enough to focus. Focus without inspiration is exhausting. The OKRs create an environment of focus with inspiration. This is why Google built the Internet as we know it on an OKR platform. If you're going to build something great, it's likely to be by way of an OKR platform as well.
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