I work in a chemical company in R&D department and participate in a project developing a new application for us as a subject matter expert, the project is led by IT.
There will be a face to face meeting on 3rd of January, there will be around 15 participants:
- from IT: program manager (Bill), project manager, architects and analysts.
- From R&D: reasonably big boss (3 levels above me), business change managers and experts.
Bill sent draft agenda to the participants last Wednesday (12th Dec), the same day I've answered we need some background materials before the meeting (by the 19th, as people will be on holiday around Christmas there are 1-3 workdays from 19th to the meeting) in order to arrive prepared and be able to contribute to the meeting.
No answer arrived so far and there is a chance it'll not arrive at all. Unfortunately it's common in this team.
If no response, then on the 20th I'll try to call Bill (we're in different countries so meeting is not an option). What shall I tell him? "Hey, you forgot to answer me! "? "Without that information it doesn't make sense for me to join the meeting."??
What if I can't reach him / won't get what I need?
I've two problems in this situation:
- no communication: I keep asking without answer, there are people who just don't bother sending replies and there is no alternative source of information.
- no information: I just don't have the right information for giving correct feedback on the project. I keep asking for it since several months ago (since I'm in the team) without success (means I still don't have it; however I'm already known as the challenging guy).
The project is in a bad shape, now around two years of delay; now it's accepted that part of the delay was caused by poor communication.
What should be my next step?
- writing an answer to my previous mail to everybody complaining about lack of communication and information?
- just writing the mail to the participants from R&D asking to help me escalating the issue?
- something else?...
Reflecting to questions in answers:
Is no one in management willing to address it? To own it?
In R&D management is fully supporting me and chase IT when I ask, but finally it's me who should communicate. IT always promise to improve but we experience very few changes.
can anything realistically be done to change the situation
It's a program we will use during our work and not something we'll sell, overall budget is still quite small compared to company's whole budget and things are progressing even if very slowly.
So question is not whether the project will fail and cause the company to bankrupt, but whether we spend five times more money and time developing it.
Coming back to the comment, I don't know what could be done to change, that's why I'm asking here.
(Ok, I suppose firing top 3 managers from the project and put better people there would change a lot, but that's absolutely not my decision, and also something people can't express publicly in our company).
Do you really want to stay there?
What else could I do?
- asking my line manager to remove me from the project? That would be good in short term, however without an expert from my department (nobody would like to replace me) we would just get a useless tool.
- look for another job? It's still just a tool, not my whole job, I don't think I should change job just because of this.