1. Could Sonya have done anything differently to prevent the situation with Claire?
To prevent the situation with Claire, Sonya could have asked Molly for help by asking Claire to closely coordinate with her on the issue of integrating their designs. This could have been done earlier, at a time when their designs were still on the drawing board.
Sonya should not have waited for the moment when Claire portrayed her as a scapegoat. Now, it is too late for Sonya to repair the damage brought about by her inaction and inability to express what she wants with Claire regarding the design.
2. How should Sonya handle the fact that Claire lied during a meeting to their manager? Should she say anything to Molly? Should she say anything to Claire? If so, what should she say and when?
Now that we know Claire lied about Sonya during a meeting with Molly, Sonya should have immediately confronted Claire right then and there with the real issue at hand. She should also explain her side to Molly so that Molly will understand what the real situation is, instead of assuming that her team is not proactive or not coordinating with each other on the project.
Even if Claire denies the real reason behind the problem, Molly as the manager would then act as moderator to ensure that things will move quickly forward, and that the issue would not happen again in her team.
3. Do you think the fact that both Claire and Sonya are being considered for early promotion is the cause of contention among the team, or is there more to the problem?
The competition between the Claire and Sonya for early promotion could be one plausible reason for the tension between the two. However, another good reason is that the two of them have personality differences which make them unable to work closely with each other.
Sonya needs also to improve her communication skills with Molly as her boss. Molly should also take a more active role in the team by providing the needed guidance and mentorship expected of her, especially from people like Sonya who needs a little bit of positive reinforcement to succeed.
4. What could Molly have done to prevent this situation on her team in the first place? What should she do now as the manager? Do you think she even recognizes she problem yet?
As stated earlier, Molly could not afford to take to the sidelines while her team is working hard on the project. She should actively ask the right questions so that she can monitor the progress of her team. Early on, she could have recognized the signs of desperation on Sonya’s part, even before the problem got worse.
As a manager, it is her responsibility to monitor her team so that they can meet their desired objectives. Now, she has to make mitigating measures and some damage control so that these objectives are met as scheduled.
I don’t think she even recognizes the problem yet since she has not heard from Sonya’s side of the story. If she did, then she would be aware. All she has to do is ask the right questions to the right person, in this case, Sonya.
5. What impacts to the issues presented in the case have for staffing on consulting projects?
In staffing for consulting projects, it is very important that team members should have personalities that would mix well with each other. It is preferable that team members are persons who know each other for a long time already and know each other’s quirks and nuances. At least they know how to deal with their co-team members despite their differences, and not sacrifice their work objectives.
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