I'm a working student in a software department and currently working on a project that was a final paper from another student. The given requirements for further development are hard for me to implement because of poor documentation and code. Furthermore the student who worked this out isn't available anymore, so there's no one I can talk about details. Additionally, there is no time for refactoring, which is significantly needed. The given code is the major problem. The result is I'm always behind the schedule. My boss knows the problems I have because of my feedback.
How can I ask for some support to get the project done in time? The implementation of some requirements are very time consuming. But I would like to avoid that my boss gets the wrong impression from my question and gets a wrong opinion about my skills and effort and the student who has done that job before.
This is no rant about my situation. I just wanna know how to ask correctly in a situation like this if I am working as an employee who needs some backup and doesn't want to lose face in front of the colleagues and the boss.
Edited because this isn't my current final paper. Before that, it wasn't clear.