V is for… Vapourisation

Sometimes you are stuck with people on your project that you could, quite frankly, do without. They may just not be up to the job, or there may be something else they bring to the party that detracts from the team’s ability to deliver.

This can happen for a number of different reasons; Perhaps you inherited them when you took over the project. Perhaps they have been foisted on you as a result of a management decision. Perhaps they were sold to you as a guru, or the best person for the job.

The assumption here is that you cannot simply remove them from the project, because you would have by now and you wouldn’t have a problem. So you need another way out. One option is to minimise the effect of these people, but sometimes Vapourisation is the only way.

One thing to bear in mind is that whining about your resources is never a good thing. People will think you’re just making early excuses for your future lack of delivery, or label you as a whiney project manager. But, more importantly, always remember that it’s your team that will deliver the project, under your excellent guidance of course, so it’s probably best not to alienate them. So removal by stealth is the key.

One approach is to give them responsibility for the delivery of something, ideally not too critical, and let them prove their obsession with their chosen speciality subject gets in the way of delivering, effectively letting them fall on their over zealous sword. Now, you’ve proved they’re no good, they should be ripe for removal…

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