What kind of characteristics you might find.....
- The person doesn't like to talk to anybody about the project goals and activities, doesn't see any necessity for team meetings, workshops or communication.
- Takes decisions, without listening to anybody and will not share them.
- Believes he can manage alone the project without the participation of anyone else.
- knows every detail, he is the expert, but he is unabe to express in a structured way the scope and content to others, or to synthesize a whole picture of the scope.
- expresses often his disagreement with the hierarchical bosses of the team members of their decsicions affecting the project.
- In his opinion the project is not necessary, only some detailled actions from his part
- simplifies every topic, stating to be able to finish in short time.
- talks like a waterfall, jumping from one topic to another, losing the red line in 2 minutes and feels absolutly surprised when people doesnt understand him, judging them as stupid and uninterested.
- Isn't able to concentrate on more than one topic at same time
- stops abrupty the meetings.
- Bad relationships to everybody around (project and other stakeholders).
The most dangerous aspect is that this person in charge is supposed to be the leader of the change, normally in an environment of resistance for change.
People who try to use a project to profile themselves in front of peers and bosses will not follow the project objectives, but their own personal ones. They won't try to manage the project agenda, but their own ones. The hardest fact is that this behaviour on project responsible will not get the things done, but generates hundreds of excuses why the targets couldn't be met, putting the fault on others, always.
In some occasions where I have experienced this kind of behaviour in a project, the person in question doesn't have problems with the executive management, but is suffering blocking from the peers. The only way out he sees, is to attack peers and project members and stakeholders, instead of Putting all his efforts to onsolidate and negotiate. Unfortunately the executive management normally notice the situatuon, once it is too late to correct the situation, and so extra costs, extra efforts and time delay already has been caused. But the most negative impact is the missing of a working project team to get the project done.
My recommendations for this case:
Give the person in question his responsability, require his actions and progress in each follow up and steering committee. Give him a lot of visibility on all levels, which challanges him and makes his behaviour also visible for everybody. Then ...
- Take the step and talk to project sponsors and steering committee members. If they do not react and correct the situation you can only focus to manage the project as professional as possible, but knowing that you won't get the project done as planned. Document each step of yours, each decision and change, you might need this log book later on.
- Focus your actions to organize and structure the project, communicate to all project team members and stakeholders, negociate with all business peers. Integrate everyone to the project. Integrate what he/she was separating. Create trust on you and try to take the lead on the project fulfill the given goals.
- Orientate the project on objectives, targets, deliverables dates and responsibles.
- The team needs to see and notice a new leading person. Make them follow you and show how the project can be mastered together. The power of a team is always stronger than individuals.
- Express your opinion clearly and execute the project management accoding to it.
- Document everything so good that everybody in business (from management to admnisration) can understand it. Use documentation to make things and facts understandable.
- Take the emotions out of the project.
The situation normally tends to disappear from the project, although in beginning it is making your life as PM impossible. Be patient but perseverant, solve instead of fight. Just focus in your project, not on the person.
Nevertheless, any company which is aiming targets and productivity, would immediatly remove these kind of person from the project and focus on the results directly.
Wish everybody luck with the Change Management in the Projects !!!