So why do such conditions exist on projects?
Many project managers do not provide team members with well-defined goals, roles, and responsibilities. They should facilitate a definition of what to produce and perform. Unfortunately, the norm is often only a vague idea of the product and tasks . In addition, they fail to encourage a greater understanding of why their contributions matter in the first place.
They fail to develop an integrated plan. Instead, they assign work that creates busy work, that is, tasks that do not further goals and objectives. The team resembles a bag of different colored marbles that fall to the floor and scatter in different directions. An overall sense of direction is missing.
Many project managers fail to manage conflict effectively. Instead, they treat it as irrelevant, like all "people issues." Yet the consequences of this failure are all too real, reflected in the presence of back stabbing, domination by certain personalities at meetings, a lack of meaningful contribution of others, and no consensus over how to proceed. Conflict can also occur interfunctionally, meaning that people with different disciplinary backgrounds cannot resolve their differences.
They often fail to develop a well-rounded balance of skills and talents on a team. Instead, their teams are often overrepresented with people of certain skills and talents while people with other vital talents are lacking. As a result, everything is interpreted through the lens of people who have similar or the same backgrounds, leading to serious oversights and misinterpretation that can lead to poor decision making. The team's work often becomes incomplete, due to overlooking important issues. This situation often manifests itself in meetings with one-sided discussions, e.g., emphasizing a particular discipline at the expense of others. The team, in other words, lacks a multidisciplinary perspective.
Many project managers often misallocate resources. They allocate resources to people without a need, while others that do have a need go without. They may allocate too much of the wrong resource and too little of what they need. Naturally, the misallocation of resources creates the opportunity for considerable infighting, which ultimately results in frustration and poor performance. Competition can then become intense for resources, causing dissension and resentment.
They often fail to align the efforts of their projects to anything meaningful. They do not provide meaningful goals and objectives or provide the opportunity to develop them. Instead, their projects are adrift, causing people to move in different directions. This misalignment, of course, reduces any opportunity for a team and its individual members to provide meaningful contributions, giving it a weak sense of direction.
Many project managers often fail to seek support from the key stakeholders. The fact that they lack sufficient resources and have nonexistent or ill-defined goals reflects this lack of support. This circumstance eventually leads to morale and esprit de corps problems. In addition, the team can quickly become subject to the harmful effects of hostility or indifference regarding resources.