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We have a small three of three, including me as a PM/BA for the project. Every month we have a release, and the two developers which I have have different levels of experience. The senior fellow has been a committed individual till now, and the junior colleague is a hard working girl who is improving her expertise as we go along.

In the past two releases we have had slippages, but to no account of their hard work, mainly in terms of Infra issues and resource availibility issues (no redundancy!). However, this release I have tried to address all these issues beforehand, but the Senior developer has gone rogue, he hardly replies to my emails (am not in same geographical location), does not pick up his phone most of the time. He had a planned leave, and I already have people for the handover to continue the development work, before leaving he was responsible for sharing estimates for the next set of requirements, this task complained to be a , so this time we tried to reduce his work by half. Yet, he did not deliver till Friday evening (we submit these by Thursday usually), and again did not inform me through email or phone (inspite of earlier confirmation that he'd call me and share the estimates). Apart from this, the same behaviour has applied to other project actions/responses.

Am deeply concerned with his behaviour, part of which I can attribute to other aspirations which the project cannot fulfill. He has discussed these in the past, and I have told him that if he finds something better I will not stop him (he deserves it too). Am contemplating raising it with his supervisor formally now. Last week I had a discussion with his supervisor who stated that the developer assured no slips in delivery. This is something which I absolutely wish to avoid, I have never done this before, but I already see us delayed in work due to this. I also know that once I drop that line, his plans for any better aspirations would be stalled too. What is the right thing to do here?

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    This is not really a question about project management frameworks, tools, or processes. It may or may not be a fit for Workplace.SE. – Todd A. Jacobs Apr 12 '14 at 18:56
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It is not your role to interpret what you are seeing in terms of what he has going on for future aspirations, why he may be checking out, etc. As a PM, you should have already considered the risk of intra-resource performance variability as well as turnover. Your project should already have built into its schedule and cost planning values and management / contingency reserves the resources you need to cope with varying performance levels. So if you are not getting what you need from this team member, then deploy plan B. You have a plan B, right?

You can let his supervisor know that this team member appears unreliable at this stage and that you are moving in another direction for now. You don't need to say anything more to ruin his other aspirations. If he is moving on, let him. It shouldn't affect you because you have already examined your risks and built in the reserves and plan Bs and Cs to keep on going, right?

  • Thanks for your input. Plan B, there is none, there is a single pool of resources shared across 3 projects. In the name of added-value, there is no real redundancy, which means to onboard a new resource and to get them to speed would take upto 3 months. However, that being said, does not mean that I would prefer to rely on a person who has no desire to continue. Also, I have no desire to impact any of his plans, at the end of the day my focus is delivery, but am pretty sure any feedback to his supervisor would definitely impact his chances. – bazinga Apr 12 '14 at 19:45
  • Just an update, no solution yet. Two weeks ago I talked to him about his de-motivation but he refused to budge or discuss things. As on today, again we are on the same path. However, I now have had an argument with him with regards to constants non-responsiveness in communication. Given the lack of response and motivation from him, I am becoming a micro-manager due to doubts which is not good. – bazinga May 14 '14 at 16:27

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