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First of all, you have to be clear if they do not add value. Value is a subjective matter that you have to convert into objective ones to measure it. Second, all related to project activities is responsability of the project manager so you have to execute the defined process to deal with delays and any type of deviations. You have to offer your help to assigned resources in case of delays and when you are sure that you have helped him then you have to assign risk and issue to them and to escalate just in case your process able that.
This may be more a reality than perception. Some team members may without proper guidance and management may create non-value added distractions on projects/programs. However, any resource assigned to the project is an opportunity for the PM to influence added value contributions from each project team member.
While there my be times the PM covers for a disengaged team member, it is imperative to engage each team member by reviewing/reminding them of the Project Charter and Project Management Plan for the project/program. These documents are essential for showing team members the commitment of the organization and the individual departments assigning resources for supporting the projects.
I’ve had to work with useless individuals who Management dumped on me because they didn’t want to address their problems. I don’t know your particular situation, but how you deal with useless resources depends on the problems they cause. Do they like to dominate meetings by talking constantly? Then stick to a timed meeting structure to limit this. Do they simply not do any useful work? Then you have two choices: You can reallocate their work to other team members, or you can let the project suffer, all the while telling Management (in written reports, so you have an evidence trail) that the resources they gave you aren’t performing, and providing them with an estimate of the useless resources’ impact to the project (extra time required, money wasted, etc.)
Eric made an excellent points here. I have worked in cases of such ,where you have individuals with no prior knowledge of the project . Most time they procrastinate on assigned task which serve as a serious impediments for the project success. It always good you escalate this to top management at the earlier stage of the project .
I agree with Eric .I think here two processes of PMBOK guide comes into play .Develop team and manage Team .After this you need to review performance and then report performance and take appropriate actions based on performance report .Here project manager will have to adopt different rewards and penalties .
Eric has raised valid concerns and provided a frank strategy to alert management for action. But I am not sure escalating the issue regarding participants that do not add value will result in substantive action by management that benefits the project team. In fact, it may result in management firmly stating that the PM needs to ensure that project participants are effective in adding value. From the participant's perspective, the strategy will confirm that the PM is not willing to train and lead team members to successful contributing to the project.
I think Organization theories like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg's Hygiene theory , DISC profile and several others, and also the powers of the Project Manager can come to the aid of the Project Manager.
Project Managers just need to figure out what motivates the Team members to give it their best. If you can answer the "What's in it for me?" question of the team member, they are more likely to become willing participants and contributors.
Change scares everyone and to take someone out of their comfort zone and cocoon takes hard work.
Instead of escalation to management and being labelled as incompetent, the approach could be to ask Team leaders of these members as to what the career goals and strengths of these team members are and how to best work with them to harness their strengths or if required , get them more training.
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