To:Team Members on the Compensation / Benefits Project
From:Director of Human Resources
Re:Budgetary concerns related to the revamp Compensation/Benefits package.
While assessing the budget details of the Compensation and Benefits package project some concerns have been raised, that the budget is depleting quicker than expected. This issue is related to specific target dates that have not been met.
In order to find a quick resolution to this problem, I am calling for a meeting to be held immediately in Conference Room H. This meeting will address the budget issues and how we can improve the situation. I would like to for each team member representative to analyze their place within the project and to verify if you are on schedule. This is a sound way to keep the project from over budgeting itself. It is very important that each member utilize their time wisely and focus on meeting the company goals and standards. Addressing this situation will possibly prevent the budget from going too far off course by eliminating or adjusting the amount of some items.
We share the responsibility of ensuring that VCA Systems employees are provided with the best packages as possible for long term care. The benefits related to the revised Compensation and Benefits package are reduced turnover rate and a gain in new employees to our organization. So please note I appreciate all that you are doing and what we are doing is beneficial to our staff and employees.
2. Suggest two (2) ways to improve an underperforming team member.
Working on project teams can cause a high level of stress and as a result members become discouraged. In relation to the revamp of the Compensation and Benefits package, of the team members was found to be consistently missing deadlines. The result of not sticking to the set schedule was a delay in the project deadline and cause unwanted expenses. As a project manager, it is my sole responsibility to address any member(s) of its team who are not motivated or underperforming his or her task. Each individual will be unique in their performance and in my coaching on their performance. There are various was to coaching individuals who are not meeting performance expectations. One way is to immediately address any issue as it arises by meeting with the individual and providing feedback of positive results then discussing opportunities and coming up with an action plan to address those opportunities. I will discuss the individual’s opportunities in a calm manner and ask the individual for an explanation. Based on the responses I will ask for the individual to suggest ways on improvements. If the reason that is given was personal matters, then I would request the individual to provide recommendations on how the problem should be addressed. If it is something minor where the individual may need some flexibility with working hours, suggest that the employee come in an hour later, but leave an hour later to make up the work. In addition, the manager can suggest that the employee telecommute from home certain days. However, I will make sure the employee is aware this is temporary until they can manage the personal situation.
Another reason why a team member may be underperforming is due to issues with time management. For those individuals who have a hard time managing their day or assignments, there could be some additional training that will provide them the skills to execute on deadlines. If a team member is always missing deadlines or asking for extensions, than this is a case of time management issues. One way to assist the employee with time management is to provide the necessary training to develop this skill. Time Management training courses are designed to help participants develop their skills in time management to achieve more effective results in less time (http://www.siliconbeachtraining.co.uk). The benefits for this training will provide an individual with increased productivity, provide more control over his or her time, and reduce stress (http://www.siliconbeachtraining.co.uk).
3. Organize a plan of action to get the project back on track.
The Compensation and Benefits project has been projected to be six weeks out of our deadline due to various issues. With careful monitoring and regular reporting are crucial to effectively managing the schedule and avoiding problems (http://www.collegiateproject.com). Once the issue has been identified, them a meeting with the team would be scheduled to discuss ways to getting the project back on track. The root cause of the problem could be a variety of things such as additional resources needed, team members are unclear of the duties, or workloads can be heavy. Once this issue is identified, it is important to provide a solution that is efficient and effective. Re-evaluating the completion of the project would not be sufficient an appropriate recourse since the completion is vital. An appropriate resolution could be to evaluate some tasks that can be omitted, such as low priority items to reduce some of the time that is needed to complete the project on-time. Determining the high priority task is crucial and omitting some or all of the low priority functions which would lead to the successful completion of the project. It important to communicate all changes to the stakeholders in order for the project to be completed on target.
1. http://www.collegiateproject.com/articles/Project%20in%20Trouble.pdf. (2009). How to Determine if Your Project is in Trouble. Collegiate Project Services. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from http://www.collegiateproject.com/articles/Project%20in%20Trouble.pdf
2. http://www.siliconbeachtraining.co.uk/business-skills-training/time-management/. (2008). Time Management Training. Silicon Beach Training. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from http://www.siliconbeachtraining.co.uk/business-skills-training/time-management/
SECOND EXAMPLE PAPER
Write a memo that communicates the budget situation to the rest of the team.
To: Team members of project1
From: Team leader of project1
Subject: Budget Depletion
It has come to my attention that the budget plan for project1 has been depleted quicker than expected. As the team leader of project1, it is my responsibility to make sure that every aspect of project1 stays on tract. I also did some investigation as to which group is over using their budget. Even so my report is not conclusive and I will need to have each team’s report and update to be sure of my findings.
Therefore, I am proposing that we all meet together to come up with a plan to rectify this budget depletion situation. I am counting on all of you to help me pull this through, for I cannot fix this alone. I need your full support and corporation to have this situation repair in a speedily fashion. In addition, before we have our meeting, I suggest that each team print out a progress report of your section and see if your budget is on tract. Also, if there is any way to make some budget cut in your section. In that way, when we actually meet your team can share how and where we can repair the budget back on tract.
Please keep in mind that failure is not option, we must do our diligent to fix this budget crisis. Project1 is very important to the well-being of every employee in this company as well as the overall functionality of this organization. So please know that what we are doing is very important. Thank you all for your help and corporation.
Suggest two (2) ways to improve an underperforming team member.
As a team leader in this project it is very important to know the team members’ strength as well as their weakness, because teamwork has a dramatic effect on overall organizational performance. Plus, an effective team can help an organization achieve unbelievable results. A team that is not working can cause unnecessary disruption, failed delivery, and strategic failure. Therefore, I will suggest that in other to improve an underperforming team member, the focus should be on the person behavior and motivation.
Sometimes a team member will start behave in a way that suggest a) the lack of the ability to perform the assign task or b) there is some change in the person personal life that overwhelmed his/her ability to function at full capacity at work. This is where the team leader’s perception, intuition, and training come into play. The name of the game is finding the root of the problem and nips it at the bud before it becomes a larger issue. The problem sometimes is that most managers and team leaders are afraid of giving an employee or team member some constructive criticism for not wanting to cause pain or embarrassment. The truth is very few people enjoy being an underperformer. If the team leader skillfully delivers some constructive criticism the employee finds the criticism easy to understand and easy to accept. Most of the time though, the employee is much less likely to have negative emotional reactions when he/she hear criticism focused on his/her behavior’s rather than on his/her personality.
Moreover, many times a team member underperformed is because of the lack of motivation. Sometimes poor performance has its roots in low motivation and if this is the case, the team leader needs to work closely with the employee to create a motivating environment in which to work. Also, there are times when working relationships across units or a function is poor, and there is a lack of coordination. Plus, if the team member do not understand the decisions that are made, or do not agree with them can cause low motivation which can deter the overall team performance. So the team leader needs to encourage the person to be good team members, and build good relationships. And that team member is provided with a great deal of feedback regarding his/her performance. Plus, team member is encouraged to commit to the team vision, and leaders help them understand how their role fits into the big picture. Also, praising the team member goes a long way to motivate the person to go on and keep performing.
Organize a plan of action to get the project back on track.
As it stands the project is six week off tract. Anyone who has worked on project teams knows that a variety of factors can move a project past its deadline. Yet, it is not uncommon for some of the work to be tougher than originally anticipated or to have turnover on the project that requires you to bring new people up to speed. However, the project manager must first understand what activities are considered most vital to the project’s success. After all, if the project is trending over deadline, by definition it is the critical path that is late. Once the manager understand the critical path, see if resources can be moved from other activities to help resolve the issue. This could be a result of poor scope change management or it could be that small changes are being worked in under the radar screen. Solicit team member feedback and look for ways that are within the team’s internal control to streamline processes. If you are at risk of missing your deadline date, as the project manager you must work with the client and team members to ensure that absolutely no unplanned work is being requested or worked on, even if it’s just one hour. All energy should go into accelerating the agreed-to core work.
If you discover delays caused by external processes, try to negotiate changes to the processes going forward, at least on a temporary basis. While these are important, perhaps the timing of completing the reviews can be changed to allow critical project activities to be completed on schedule. One option that is usually available is to look at the work remaining and negotiate with the client to remove some of it from the project. Obviously, one solution is just to deliver the work at a later date. In some cases, that may be perfectly acceptable. However, the assumption here is that the scheduled completion date is important to the client. Therefore, the client should not be disappointed.
Kloppenborg, T., Nkomo, S.M., Fottler, M.D., McAfee, R.B. (2012). Human Resource Project Management (2nd Ed). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
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