CSM combined the dinner to celebrate project completion with the individual recognition of project participants.
End-of-project celebrations can serve several functions. They can relieve the stress participants may have felt in a highly charged project. Celebrations are also a wonderful opportunity for project leaders to remind the participants how important their work really was. Most people are energized by performing worthwhile work. Participants thus energized will be eager to work with the same project leaders and teams on future projects.
A celebration is the perfect forum for the project leader to reward and recognize participants. Make it an important event that is fun and something that people will remember and want to do again.
CSM's decision to combine participant reward and recognition with the ending celebration makes sense. However, they missed an opportunity to energize their project participants by reminding them of the importance of their results.
A Project Leader Needs to:
Accept that both teams and individuals need celebration
Have the courage to promote future project teamwork
Exercise the wisdom to know when to celebrate project accomplishments and when to look toward the future.
Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, Gung Ho: Turn On the People in Any Organization (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1998).