Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wasting Team Member's Time on Celebrity Apprentice

One of my cardinal rules of Project Management is "Never Waste Team Members' Time!" I constantly preach that a good Project Manager should monitor meetings and, if they see team members are not needed for the rest of the meeting, send them out to be productive.

In last week's Celebrity Apprentice Nene, the Project Manager, was faced with an interesting situation. The team had worked together to create and film a video and the last task was the editing of this video. This task required two people but she chose to involve her entire team. Most of the team was excited by seeing the project through to the end and wanted to be there with her. But Dionne Warwick, the oldest member of the team, wanted to go home and get some sleep.

At this point several mistakes were made in a row.
  1. Nene should have offered to let team members off the hook. Instead she asked that all attend.
  2. Dionne should have been clear about her needs and ask to go home. Instead she just hinted.
  3. Dionne, after seeing she was not needed, should have asked to be excused. Instead she simply declared she was going home.
When it came time for the board-room and someone to be fired, Dionne became an obvious choice. But rather than call Nene on the carpet for neglecting her team members, Dionne lied about asking to go home and was roundly criticized. Then she made the fatal mistake of daring Donald to fire her. Big mistake.

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