I am handling one project with 3 team members. I had given the effort estimations to my project manager as per team capacity and impacts on the existing modules. According to estimations I have to release the project in 15 days. But out of 3 members one is not performing well. He is not able to complete the assigned task as per time estimated and it is affecting on the deadline.

So please suggest me how to handle my team members, that I will not cross the deadline. How would I handle, the not performing team member or manage with 2 team members.

  • Does your PM not follow up with each team member as to how they are progressing on the assignments. It sounds to me like he's a peer and not a subordinate. If that's the case, it's your PM's job not yours. – Chris E Oct 24 '14 at 17:42
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    @ChristopherEstep, the way he talks he is the team lead. "I am handling one project with 3 team members" indicates he is managing the project nort just a memeber of the team. But perhaps the OP can be more specific. – HLGEM Oct 24 '14 at 19:39

WHAT assistance are you providing the stumbling team member? Do you have a clue why he is behind schedule? Did you talk to him and ask him how you can help? Did you think of reassigning him to some other part of the project where he can perform better? Is the reason he is stumbling a one-off reason like he knows what he is doing but he is missing a key piece of the puzzle or is the reason something systemic, like he is in totally over his head? Is there corrective/adaptive action that can be taken at this point in time to preserve the timetable and if so, what is that corrective action? WHAT?

If something goes wrong, you're supposed to dig like a beaver, find out what's wrong and take steps to either fix it, work around it or get the resources and schedule readjusted. YOU are the team leader, so act like one!


There's not a lot you can do, since you actually don't have any levers to pull to make things go another way (from a hypothesis that you aren't a decision makes in your team). So, in addition to the previous answer, I'd recommend you to:

  1. Make each member's performance clear and obvious. Try using a task management system or bug tracker (Asana, Trello, Jira, dozens are available). This will help you show that a certain person is reluctant to take responsibility. Give this advice to your project manager.
  2. Since the system is set, stick to it. Avoid chaos. Be a good administrator of your work and let other members understand it and behave same way.
  3. Use tasks and subtasks. Make the very little aspect of work visible, even if it is about communication or planning.
  4. At the end of iteration, on deadline, output a report which shows what and how much each member has done.

This approach is pretty administrative and process oriented and doesn't involve people's preferences. This it may backfire. First, it takes much time, as you need not just do your work but comment on it, too. Moreover, such a change doesn't come easy. If you don't use a task management system then the change may be even painful.

But remember: the final goal isn't to push out a low-performer but to gain some data and knowledge about his productivity (among other members). At the end, it's not important how good or bad or nice he is, it's important to meet the estimation.


First, you need to step up and find out what the problem is. Is he assigned too much work? Is he having personal problmes? Is he simply incompetent? The actions differ.

Next, you need to more closely manage this person. You need to have a daily conversation on progress. You need to reassign work to other team members who are not behind. You may need to step in and mentor him on how to do something. YOu may need to do daily code reviews (to make sure he is making progress as wellas to stop porblmes before they get into the main build.)Just letting him sit there and flounder with no help is the worst thing you can do.

If you are having project problems that will affect the deadline, you need to step up to your managers and tell them the reason for the delay and how much longer you will need. You need to do this today, not when the deadline is missed. But go into the meeting with a plan of action, so talk to the employee first and find out the problem. You may need to discuss with upper managment reducing the scope. You need to tell them what you are doing to help this person improve his performance and how you intend to reassign workload to get the job done or find out what you need to do to fire him.

And next time, address the problems when they start rather than managing by wishful thinking.


Maybe you are dealing with this guy?

I have so many problems I cannot focus on work - should I resign?

Try to find the root of the low performance and if you can, fix it. If you can't, escalate to your manager, so he can fix it.

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