Project Management

Motivating the ‘Who Cares?’ Resource

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

During the course of my career, I have worked with a lot of different types of people. Of course everyone is different, but it’s inevitable that we compartmentalize people into different categories based on our experiences. One of the categories that I struggle with is someone who is completely lacking in motivation to be on the project. They don’t want to be there--and they are determined to do as little work as possible.

They may be annoyed because they wanted to be assigned to another project, or because they wanted to continue with their operational role. They may have been doing the same job for an extended period of time and have now lost any enthusiasm that they once had for the role. They may disagree with the project entirely, or be concerned that they will lose their job if the project is successful. Whatever the reason, they want nothing to do with this initiative.

And you are their project manager.

Recognizing the problem
You can’t manage what you don’t know about, so the first thing that you need to do is recognize that you have a team member who is lacking motivation. The individual may make it easy for you, letting you know in no uncertain terms that they want nothing to do with the project and would rather do something else. Not every unmotivated resource is like this, though. Others will simply be disengaged--they won&…

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- Woody Allen