Project Terrorist

Have you ever come across that person on a project who seems to have the sole aim to ‘bad mouth’ and poison the projects progress and aims all while trying to be stealth about it and never being quite out in the open?

I have seen this recently and you can spot them a number of ways.

  • They miss deadlines but they always have an excuse around requiring more information that others have to contribute or someone else has to approve their work before they can release it to you.
  • They sit in meetings and pout or just look unhappy and once in a while can’t resist the slight but discernable head shake while you are talking.
  • They make requests for work from others than don’t make sense and try to gather others to justify their demands.

More often than not you have tried to bring them into the team and address this behavior but chances are they just don’t get it, feel uncomfortable in working for the greater good of the project (and ultimately the organization) and also just want to be destructive. Projects are hard enough in the first place to get everyone working as a team but they know it is easier for them to be destructive and then turn around and say I told you so.

Project Managers (as mentioned on many occasions) need to have leadership as a key and overriding skill in their armory. Bringing a diverse and highly skilled group of people together is hard and takes true people leadership to achieve but once done can lead to remarkable things. Having to deal with those who are resistant to working for the team and only consider themselves can be the toughest part of the job but ultimately the most rewarding when you see them come on board and deliver with everyone else. But as with anything on the Project that requires leadership at some point you have to admit defeat and take action to remedy the situation for the greater good. When some act as a Project Terrorist you have to tackle them out and by that (like a poison) they need to be cut from the project. They make still do damage from the outside but less than from the inside.


About chriscashell

I have been working in IT for most industries during my career and delivering change through solutions combining process re-engineering and software systems. This has involved taking a disparate group of people to form project teams and setting out on a mission to change the business and drive it forward to meet compelling goals. Building and being part of a successful team is a great experience and seeing organizations and individuals embrace change is a rewarding experience. I want to share my insights into those experiences and thoughts and find out what others believe can make change fun and enjoyable.
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