PITA is for pain in the a**. People who are PITAs really put a dent in any
How can you detect a PITA?
He/She focuses only on the negative aspects of the projects. What's going
wrong, what's late, what hasn't been done correctly, etc. However, the PITA is
not interested in solving those problems. All the PITA is interested in is to
whine about the problem, and possibly blame somebody or something.
A PITA also tries to get attention like children do: by throwing tantrums,
bullying and manipulating others around him or her.
When you habe a PITA in your team, it can be a weight on everybody's
shoulders. It can significantly impair the project's progress.
How do you deal with the PITAs in your project team?
You must remember that PITAs are trying to get energy from you. Their
screaming and crises and drama and blaming are all about getting people to feel
sorry for them or agree with them or follow them in their blaming mission. As
long as you're playing along, you're encouraging this behavior from your PITA.
Now, if the PITA is the project manager, it means the whole team is in
trouble. It's harder to ignore the project manager PITA and work around him or
her. However, it can still be done. If you don't give in to the PITA's
behaviors, he or she may realize it's not working and try a different, les
painful approach to managing the team.
If the PITA is a team member, it's easier to work around this person.
A good way to confront the PITA is to ask the question: What should we do
Often, PITAs are not interested in solutions. After all, if the problem goes
away, what are they going to complain about. Also, asking for a solution
changes the mindset of the team, from focusing on the problem to focusing on
It's also a good idea to learn to build resistance to PITA behavior. The
PITA is not working specifically against you, but against everyone in their
Watch out for PITAs around you
Whenever you have an opportunity to change teams or bring someone new in the
team, keep and eye out for PITAs. It's easier to avoid having them in your team
than getting rid of them once they are in.