I have been handed a project that has been kicked around for 4 or 5 months with ~zero progress made. The project is to implement a new tool that was chosen before I got here. It seems like a good product, and the vendor is very helpful, but I don't really think it fits our needs or use case. I made this clear to my boss and went forward after being told "I know, it's not great, but it's better than what we have now."
I recruited one of our part-time interns to help me out, as the front end of this project is going to include a lot of manual data entry and parsing from multiple sources. My boss asked for a status on this Friday night, and I told him that I was making slow, but steady progress. He offered that knowing the product better, he could do some work over the weekend. Knowing that his vision of this project didn't really match with what the vendor could supply or better business practices, I said that it might be better if I do it myself, as a learning opportunity. He dismissed this saying he wants the project to start moving and said he would do some work this weekend (I estimated another 12 hours worth of work.)
Fast forward to 0900 this morning, my boss comes into the office announcing that he is done, and bragging that the work only took him an hour and a half. Full of trepidation, I open the Excel file I had been working on for two weeks, and which I had painstakingly laid out to be visually representative, and eventually parse-able by the accompanying script I am going to have to write. I was correct about my trepidation: my boss has compacted columns that should not have been, I have three different header row sections (Excel skills are not strong here), and he has partially or completely misunderstood the meaning and intent of a number of columns and key/value pairs.
I fortunately have a backup of this file, and some of the data he added is actually very helpful, so he may have saved me some time/looking, but the spreadsheet as it is now isn't usable for its original purpose, and is outright wrong in some respects. I probably have 10 hours of work now in stead of 12, so he saved the company a half hour of work by working over the weekend.
- Should I tell my boss the work he gave me isn't usable, and why?
- How should I present this? He is something of a serial offender in this area, and while it didn't cost me more work this time, it easily could have.
TL;DR My boss claims to have finished a task he gave me in 1.5 hours that I projected would take 12 hours. I now have 10 hours of work to do to "fix" his work. Should I tell him and how?
Edit: For some more background, my boss is the CEO of the company, and ~30 years my senior. We have a good working relationship, but I would say we are more acquaintances than friends. He is generally open to criticism, but quite headstrong, which is probably why he made these changes that I was trying to avoid. I have made it clear that what he wants to have happen is not possible without going back to vendor selection, which he has categorically ruled out. I am a senior manager of a ~50 person company located in the US.