The story has a happy ending. The project ended well. And all's well that ends well. Or is it?
Imagine you're a team-leader & while the team as a whole worked well & got the job done, two people didn't carry their own weight the way they should have. They procrastinated too much. They leant on others more than they should have. You kept having to cover for them. Say you warned them more than once & yet until the end of the project you saw no improvement.
Then the project ends well. Everyone celebrates. You include them in the letter of appreciation for the whole team & in the celebrations for the whole team.
Say then your manager asks you to do a performance-based assessment of each individual member of the team because he wants to give them a bonus by the end of the month. All bonuses in your company are calculated on the basis of performance.
What do you do? Do you say everyone was great so they'll all get the same bonus since they are after all a team? Or do you say how each person really performed knowing that the two mentioned above will probably get a smaller bonus or none at all & that they will hate you for this forever? Is that a mean thing to do to them after you told them well done along with everyone else & fed them celebratory chocolate cake? I mean they did do SOME work. They did contribute. It's just that others contributed a lot more.
Is it ethical to consider how this might later reflect on you? Given the fact that you don't work with the same team on every project & that these two might at some point in the future be assigned to someone else & then their weak performance might be noticed by others & THEN everyone will wonder why you were singing their praises?
What would you do?