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Topics: Ethics, Leadership, Organizational Project Management
Would you accept praise for a project where one of your team members did most of the work?
“Success has many parents, but failure is an orphan”. As project managers, change leaders and strategy executioners, progress resulting in success or failure is the combined effort of our sponsors, team members and stakeholders.
• Would you accept the praise for a project where one of your team members did most of the work?
• If yes, what about accepting a project management award for the project where one of your team members did most of the work?
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I am quite positive the majority of practitioners would only accept praise while noting the significant contribution of the team member(s).

This would likely be repeated in the event of an award nomination.
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1 reply by Amany Nuseibeh
Dec 17, 2019 7:07 PM
Amany Nuseibeh
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@Conrad. Thank you for your trust that the majority of practitioners will accept and acknowledge the team's contribution.
Dear Amany
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

What do you think is the role, functions and activities of a project manager?

How do you view the situation:
Receive the laurels of project success and share them with the team?
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1 reply by Amany Nuseibeh
Dec 17, 2019 7:09 PM
Amany Nuseibeh
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@Luis - interesting approach to answering the question. Sharing is caring, and as we lead our teams, we are also part of that team.
The point is: what is the purpose of recognition? On the other side, like you see when some team achieve a championship the captain takes the price but the whole team is recognized and the captain assure that.
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2 replies by Adrian Carlogea and Amany Nuseibeh
Dec 15, 2019 7:04 AM
Adrian Carlogea
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Comparing a PM with a captain is inappropriate in many if not in most cases.

The captain is usually one of the best players from the team while the PM is usually not the best worker from the project team. In IT in many cases the PM is not even a worker(player) and as such he can't be a captain.
Dec 17, 2019 7:12 PM
Amany Nuseibeh
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@Sergio, the project manager is definitely a representative of the team, motivating the team and setting the direction.
Dec 15, 2019 6:15 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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The point is: what is the purpose of recognition? On the other side, like you see when some team achieve a championship the captain takes the price but the whole team is recognized and the captain assure that.
Comparing a PM with a captain is inappropriate in many if not in most cases.

The captain is usually one of the best players from the team while the PM is usually not the best worker from the project team. In IT in many cases the PM is not even a worker(player) and as such he can't be a captain.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 15, 2019 7:32 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Sorry but you are totally wrong. Captain is not one of the best players of the team and captain is selected by her/his own team mates. On the other side, "best" definition has to be made in a context. In sport "best" is not the player with the "best" abilities to execute shots only. No matter that, I just put an example about what people can see in some domain, beyond I lived in the practice this type of things in sports. No more than that.
Dec 15, 2019 7:04 AM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
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Comparing a PM with a captain is inappropriate in many if not in most cases.

The captain is usually one of the best players from the team while the PM is usually not the best worker from the project team. In IT in many cases the PM is not even a worker(player) and as such he can't be a captain.
Sorry but you are totally wrong. Captain is not one of the best players of the team and captain is selected by her/his own team mates. On the other side, "best" definition has to be made in a context. In sport "best" is not the player with the "best" abilities to execute shots only. No matter that, I just put an example about what people can see in some domain, beyond I lived in the practice this type of things in sports. No more than that.
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1 reply by Adrian Carlogea
Dec 15, 2019 8:36 AM
Adrian Carlogea
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Please search for some football teams and see who are the captains. You would see that usually the captains are the best players and if not then they are one of the best players.

If you are not one of the best players then you would be a substitute and most of the time you would not be on the field. The captain must always be on the field and when he isn't other player that is on the field becomes acting captain.

Take as an example Lionel Messi, he is one of the best football players in the world, if not the best, and he is the captain of both of his club and national team.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another one of the best players but he is not the captain of his club team Juventus. Juventu's captain's however is one of the best players of the teams even if probably not the best.

You can't have a substitute as a captain even if that substitute has great leadership skills. Many PMs however are not even substitutes they are not players at all as they don't do the actual work.
For each, acceptance would be on behalf of the team.

In a team setting, we have to be careful when placing too much emphasis on the individual. Each role, player, personality has its own dynamics and influence. And like in sports, the team would earn the prestige and the award, and each team member could hold that award proudly over their head as a contributor to the overall success garnered by the team.
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1 reply by Amany Nuseibeh
Dec 28, 2019 6:52 PM
Amany Nuseibeh
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@Andre, I agree that each team member need to be recognized for the collective efforts - and holding the award proudly is a way of recognition of their contributions.
Amany -

This is less of a concern in organizations which have gone through an agile transformation successfully as they recognize the need to balance individual recognition with team-level recognition.

I'd compare this to the Academy Awards. Only one individual can receive the award for Best Film, but they will always thank all the key contributors. It is fine if the PM is the point of contact for receiving accolades but they should make sure that they accept it on behalf of the team members and other contributors.

They should also make a point of recognizing their team members and (hopefully) providing good references for future projects.

Kiron
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1 reply by Amany Nuseibeh
Dec 28, 2019 6:57 PM
Amany Nuseibeh
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@Kiron, thank you for the analogy - the Academy Awards represents a very vivid example - you hit the nail on the head and re-forced thanking key contributors.
Dec 15, 2019 7:32 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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Sorry but you are totally wrong. Captain is not one of the best players of the team and captain is selected by her/his own team mates. On the other side, "best" definition has to be made in a context. In sport "best" is not the player with the "best" abilities to execute shots only. No matter that, I just put an example about what people can see in some domain, beyond I lived in the practice this type of things in sports. No more than that.
Please search for some football teams and see who are the captains. You would see that usually the captains are the best players and if not then they are one of the best players.

If you are not one of the best players then you would be a substitute and most of the time you would not be on the field. The captain must always be on the field and when he isn't other player that is on the field becomes acting captain.

Take as an example Lionel Messi, he is one of the best football players in the world, if not the best, and he is the captain of both of his club and national team.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another one of the best players but he is not the captain of his club team Juventus. Juventu's captain's however is one of the best players of the teams even if probably not the best.

You can't have a substitute as a captain even if that substitute has great leadership skills. Many PMs however are not even substitutes they are not players at all as they don't do the actual work.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 15, 2019 8:42 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Adrian, I am Argentine. Sorry if you are saying that Messi is the captain just for being the best player of the world in terms of his abilities on the execution you do not know about Messi. And you are forgotten a critical thing: captain is selected by her/his team mates including it the coach because the coach is a team mate too. Again, the key is "best". Thinking that "best" is only because abilities in execution is do not know about what a captain is inside the field. But I do not want to deviate the debate. I put my position clear in my first comment.
Dec 15, 2019 8:36 AM
Replying to Adrian Carlogea
...
Please search for some football teams and see who are the captains. You would see that usually the captains are the best players and if not then they are one of the best players.

If you are not one of the best players then you would be a substitute and most of the time you would not be on the field. The captain must always be on the field and when he isn't other player that is on the field becomes acting captain.

Take as an example Lionel Messi, he is one of the best football players in the world, if not the best, and he is the captain of both of his club and national team.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another one of the best players but he is not the captain of his club team Juventus. Juventu's captain's however is one of the best players of the teams even if probably not the best.

You can't have a substitute as a captain even if that substitute has great leadership skills. Many PMs however are not even substitutes they are not players at all as they don't do the actual work.
Adrian, I am Argentine. Sorry if you are saying that Messi is the captain just for being the best player of the world in terms of his abilities on the execution you do not know about Messi. And you are forgotten a critical thing: captain is selected by her/his team mates including it the coach because the coach is a team mate too. Again, the key is "best". Thinking that "best" is only because abilities in execution is do not know about what a captain is inside the field. But I do not want to deviate the debate. I put my position clear in my first comment.
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1 reply by Adrian Carlogea
Dec 15, 2019 9:38 AM
Adrian Carlogea
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Sergio, I have heard of teams where the player that is considered to be the best is not also the captain but I have never heard of a captain not being among the best. Maybe in some sports this would be possible but not in football and not in many other team sports.

Being the best player does not automatically qualify you to be the captain/leader but not being among the best automatically disqualifies you to be the captain.

Always there must be a captain on the field and when the captain is not on the field other player becomes match captain. Players that are not among the best would be substitutes and would not even get too much chances to be captains.

On the other hand a PM would always be a PM even if he is not among the best workers (players). You can be a PM even if you are a non-player, if you are not a player you can't be a captain.
Dear Adrian e Sergio
Can we compare the Project Manager to the captain of a football team?
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 29, 2019 6:14 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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It is a very interesting question that can open other debate about things like leadership. I have put that comparision trying to write about an example you can see by television for example. The captain received the award (the trophy) and then recieved the price (the money) in the name of the team but believe me that the original award will not be left to the captain hands including it the captain and the rest of the team received a replica and the money is distributed between the team as agreed previously. The problem is there are some of well known companies, some of them between the top 100 in the world, where this type of behavor (culture) is not following and it is perceived as not recommdable.
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