“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

Albert Einstein

In a world that’s spinning faster by the minute, where the tick-tock of the clock is a relentless reminder of our race against time, it’s easy to get caught up in the mechanics of it all. We set up our projects like we’re laying down tracks for a train, defining the route with the rigid rails of time, scope, and schedule. These are the boundaries, the edges of our map, and we often mistake them for the journey itself.

But here’s the twist: the map is not the territory. The real journey? It’s about value. Value is the beating heart of what makes a project truly worthwhile: solutions that elevate a team’s effectiveness, satisfaction, and success. It’s about crafting work that leaves a tangible mark, boosting both the metrics that drive a business and the well-being of the people behind those metrics.

Think about it. Time is just the canvas we’re given, a blank page waiting for a story to unfold. It slips through our fingers like sand, indifferent to our desires and deadlines.

And scope? It’s the palette of colors we choose from, the boundaries of our canvas. It can shift and change, like a chameleon, adapting to the environment.

Then there’s the schedule, the rhythm to which we march, the tempo of our days. It can speed up or slow down, but it’s just the backdrop to our masterpiece.

Now, imagine if we flipped the script.

Instead of being boxed in by time, scope, and schedule, we let value lead the way. What if value was our north star, guiding every decision, every action?

Suddenly, the constraints become opportunities, the limitations become launching pads. We’re no longer just managing projects; we’re crafting legacies. We’re not just ticking off tasks; we’re creating value that echoes beyond the here and now.

In this dance with time and constraints, let’s be bold. Let’s shift our gaze from the confines of our project boxes and set our sights on the horizon where value lies. It’s there, in the pursuit of something greater, that we find the essence of our work, the soul of our projects. And in this quest for value, we might just discover that the journey itself is the greatest reward.

So, as we navigate the complexities of our projects, let’s remember: it’s not about the walls we build—it’s about the doors we open. It’s not about the ground we cover—it’s about the heights we can reach when we aim for true value.

That’s the mark of a project well done, a mission accomplished, a story worth telling.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.