By Lynda Bourne, DPM, PMP (December 3, 2010) - Voices on Project Management Blog
Two important members of your project team recently ended a six-year romantic relationship. While they're both trying to keep their domestic problems out of the workplace, the inevitable tensions between the two ex-partners are obvious and are causing the team to split into two camps.
The situation is affecting the team's ability to achieve a successful outcome on a high-stakes, high-pressure project to deliver critical capabilities to a customer.
You've tried working with both team members and sought assistance from the HR department to minimize the issues with limited success. Each of them is vital to the delivery of the project's objectives. However, you've suggested to both that perhaps the team would be better off if one of them moved onto another job. Unfortunately, neither have a viable option.
Your analysis of the situation is as follows:
If either of the people leaves, the team's ability to deliver the project will be reduced by 10 percent.
If both of them leave, the team's ability to deliver the project will be reduced by 20 percent.
If both stay, the team's ability to deliver the project will be reduced by 25 percent and will get worse over time.
The customer cannot afford any reduction in the team's capability to deliver this business-critical outcome.
As the project manager, what would you do next?