During my entire project management career, it’s always been an interesting challenge to create the right path for escalating a resource issue. I’ve read all kinds of books and have had the right training, but when someone isn’t doing their job, telling them is tough.
I’ve learned that to set a team up for success, it’s important to lay the ground rules from the project’s start. As a general rule, go beyond the communication plan. Dig into why certain things are important and how you plan to handle personal responsibility and accountability with deliverables and other items.
At times, I’ve found myself pushed to where those guidelines and agreements have been broken. People and things, for many reasons, fail. When they do, it’s the job of the Project Manager to get them back to being productive.
So what do you do?
- Determine What the Issue is. Is the resource over-allocated? Is it an issue of understanding? Time management? Sometimes it can just be the fact that someone is lazy.
- Examine Your Options. Figuring out the issue provides a path of options for resolution. If it’s a time management or non-motivational issue, then it may be a simple approach to the resource manager that determines a solution. If it’s a motivational issue, the personal touch will come into play and help you define your success in handling it. Regardless, remember that one rule should be to praise in public and confront in private. Don’t ever confront someone in public. It doesn’t matter who is right, it just creates a problem for the relationship and project down the road.
- Take action. Make sure that your actions are quick and smooth. Don’t allow too much time to pass between the issue arising and the solution. That can be seen as an issue unto itself.