Difficult Project Team Member – Reality Bites!

Prabhu N. Jha PMP

September 05, 2011

Project Execution is completely dependent on people who are dedicated, believe in common goal and have synchronized objectives. However the reality is that every project has member(s) who may have a different perspective / different approach / different agenda.

For successful execution of the project within the parameters of cost, time, quality & scope, it is essential that such members are identified early and counseling is done as applicable.

We must always remember the below fuWe must always remember the below fundamental ground rules of such counseling:

  • Have an unbiased approach.No pre-conceived notions. (Advice the team member also of the same)
  • Discuss only on the basis of facts & figures and not hearsay.
  • Highlight the exact instances where the team member's approach has been an aberration.
  • Listen to the member's point of view and understand the reason for the member's approach.
  • Explain to the member how the observed behavior conflicts with acceptable / required practices, procedures or philosophy.
  • Describe the bigger picture in a holistic approach.
  • Explain the negative impact of the member's approach on overall team camaraderie.
  • If not corrected, clearly elucidate that this might impact member's performance appraisal / career progression.
  • Provide realistic time for the member to rectify oneself.
  • Strictly avoid personal criticism. The subject must be dealt throughout in a professional manner.
  • The member must be made aware that all discussions are being recorded.

Freedom of action of individual members must not conflict with the team’s action but must be synchronized with it. For true success, we must always remember Mr. A.G. Gardiner who had highlighted in “On The Rule Of The Road” that you may have to submit to a curtailment of private liberty in order that you may enjoy a social order which makes your liberty a reality.