Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Identifying Performance Issues With Your Project Team

~ By Dave Nielsen

Two women having an argument in an office

The phrase "project manager" is a bit of a misnomer; while project managers do manage projects, they deliver them by managing a project team that does the work of the project. How successful they are at managing that team will go a long way to determining the success or failure of the project. Perhaps the most difficult (and certainly the most unpleasant) aspect of managing the high performance team is dealing with issues of poor performance. We've put together some tips to help you make this unpleasant experience as easy and productive as possible. These articles are not intended to be a comprehensive manual on managing project teams. They are meant to provide you with some insights gained through years of practical experience.

Before you implement any measures please check with your HR representative and educate yourself on your HR groups policies.

Identifying Performance Issues

You need to be very certain that your project is experiencing performance issues before you take any steps to correct them. Attempting to correct poor performance when you're not actually experiencing it is unproductive at best and can be destructive to the morale of team.

Lets start with the performance of the project. Poor performance, that is missing deadlines, behind schedule, over budget or poor quality, may or may not be signs your project has performance issues. Performance issues are just one possible cause for these ailments, but if poor performance is contributing to poor project performance here are some of the signs you'll see:

  • Excessive absenteeism: one or more of the team will be absent for two or more days per month. We're talking about casual days off here, not a genuine long term illness or injury. Mondays and Fridays are particularly popular days to "phone in sick" as they extend the weekend.
  • A team member consistently missing deadlines: this team member simply can't complete their work on time. They assure you they can complete the work in the time allotted, commit to delivery, then disappoint you on the due date.
  • A team member consistently delivering poor quality: this team member has their name on the lions share of the trouble tickets issued by the QA group. They frequently claim to have fixed a bug and either haven't, or have fixed it but caused two others.
  • A team member is always asking for help from the team: this team member will always be seen at their neighbours work station getting help with their work. They may also get the help delivered to their work station.
  • The team, or individuals on the team, complain about a team member who is interfering with their productivity: the team member they are complaining of is dragging performance down because s/he is always asking for help.
  • Conflicts on the team: one individual on the team always seems to be involved in a dispute with someone else on the team.
  • Conflicts between a team member and stakeholders external to the team: this team member always seems to be involved in a dispute with someone external to the team. These are frequently the same people that are involved in the intra-team conflicts.

If your team is experiencing any of these symptoms, there is a good chance that poor team performance is contributing to poor project performance and it's time for you to take action.


Dave Nielsen is a principal with three O Project Solutions, the vendors of AceIt. Dave was also the key architect responsible for the creation of the product. AceIt has prepared Project Managers from around the world to pass their PMP exams. You can find endorsements from some of his customers on three O's web site http://www.threeo.ca


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
Enter the word hand backwards.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Building a Business Case for Your Project

Ball of business documents

To get stakeholders or management to approve your project, you will need to build a solid business case. Here are the basic steps for creating a business case.

Critical Path Mapping

Critical path method words on digital screen with world map

The activity network diagram is a method of displaying the timelines of all the various sub-tasks that are involved in any project. So how do you create one?

Break Your PMP Studies Into Small Pieces

A mature student concentrating on her studies

Taking the PMP exam is one of the biggest steps you'll take in your career as a Project Manager. With careful planning you can pass with a minimum of stress.

Estimating Project Costs

Money and a calculator

Tips and advice for estimating project costs, including three point estimating and Monte Carlo Simulation in MS Excel.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Joseph Marandus commented on…
How to Apply PRINCE2: Engaging Senior Management in Your Projects
- Tue 21 March 1:59pm

Janine Greene commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Fri 17 March 1:30pm

Ben commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Sun 12 March 12:30pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • No Sponsor https://t.co/ii52CgAiCs #projectsmart #pmot about 8 days ago

General Project Management • Re: Software Product Delivery Plan for an Agile project https://t.co/v8ondVdaME #projectsmart #pmot about 9 days ago

General Project Management • Re: How do you track who from your human resources have related… https://t.co/QzAyOJ27cp #projectsmart #pmot about 10 days ago