Thank You, Texas Rangers!

Home The Savvy PM Blog Thank You, Texas Rangers!

It’s been over twenty years.  The memory is very clear, however.  The Texas Ranger Project was a big project – big in size, big in importance, and big in effort.  I remember the effort I expended in keeping this project on track, but more than that, I often think about the tremendous effort that a group of 102 people contributed during an adverse situation.

To keep a very long story short, an ad hoc manufacturing and testing team was formed in California to remedy a project defect.  They worked around the clock for three weeks.  With the approval of a construction contractor, the temporary manufacturing line and test station was orchestrated in a building still under construction – no air conditioning or other human comforts were present yet.  The defect was corrected and tested, and the project deliverable was re-shipped to the satisfied customer in Texas.  It was a fantastic team effort that certainly deserved praise and recognition.

I wanted to say, “Thank You!” in a memorable way.  The division manager agreed with my plan.  Certificates of appreciation – by name – were created to be presented during a coffee talk at the facility.  Instead of a gold seal to make the certificate official, I wanted to affix a toy metal badge to authorize each of the 102 contributors as a “Texas Ranger” to continue to serve and protect the quality and integrity of the Texas Ranger Project.

Did you know that it is illegal in the State of Texas to make or sell an imitation Texas Ranger badge? I found that out.  However, there is one place in Texas where the law allows the practice – the gift shop at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas!


Yes, you’ve figured it out.  I bought 102 badges to affix to the certificates!  They were a hit, and I saw those badges and certificates posted on cubicle walls and workstations all over the factory on my subsequent trips.  For a very small investment, the team felt appreciated and their contributions publically acknowledged.

Bringing these wonderful memories into focus for project managers, remember that one of the tools of developing a project team, beyond team-building activities, training, and soft skills, is called Recognition and Rewards.  In PMI®’s process framework, this tool of the process Develop Project Team is where theories of organizational behavior and motivation are brought into the picture.  Whether you subscribe to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory, or good ol’ Expectancy Theory, no theory outshines a good, old fashioned “Thank You!”  There are many ways to state or show appreciation for a team that has performed well.  Be creative – it’s fun!

As you plan your project activities, schedules, and budgets, be thoughtful and careful to work with your sponsor to allow for expressing appreciation for a successful project performance by the team.

As I close this morning, let me speak for Andy, Bill, and myself as I say “Thank You!” for participating in our SavvyPM musings!