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We have committed a one month timeline to the client for a project delivery. We needed some data from the client for meeting this dead line. We have emailed the requirement before timeline commitment. It has been 3 weeks and the client has not sent the data, but we have not done any follow-up on it as well. We are delayed on the project delivery. How do I communicate this with the internal and external stake holders as a project manager?

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  • Should I apologize for not following up? No. They'll make it your fault. Start chasing your client contact daily and cc your internal stakeholders. If you have no adequate response, ask internally which other client contacts should be copied in.
    – Justin
    Sep 4, 2019 at 12:13
  • And point 4 [deleted] - if your developers create dummy data, make certain you have the correct spec, if necessary asking the client to review a sample of your data and confirm in writing that it's correct.
    – Justin
    Sep 4, 2019 at 12:14
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    Hopefully you had a clause in the contract that cancels any penalty clause if the client does not deliver data crucial to the project.
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 4, 2019 at 12:45
  • When you requested the data, did you let the client know what the delivery deadline was? I'd typically add that to my project risks adding each day past that deadline will add 1 day to the project timeline. Sep 5, 2019 at 1:45
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    Just as a side note: if your role is Project Manager, communicating with stakeholders is a fundamental part of your role. Once this is over, you may want to consider training to make sure you're up to speed. May 19, 2021 at 12:15

2 Answers 2

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How do I communicate this with the internal and external stake holders as a project manager?

First, you need to follow up with the client and get the required data. After you have acquired this data, speak with all the stake holders and let them know that the project will not be completed by the current timeline and propose a new timeline.

In the future, do not commit to a timeline when you do not have all of the requirements ready or at least factor in the time required to gather all the requirements into the timeline. The other thing you should do, especially for critical roadblocks, is to follow up with requests. Three weeks is a ridiculous amount of time to let pass without a followup. Learn your lessons from this project so that you can avoid making these same mistakes again.

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I think that 'sf02' does point a good way forward for you now, but you did err very seriously by not immediately following-up with the client.

Anytime you ask for input, you must make it clear "when and why you need it." You also need to maintain a written "contact log," and a reminder system. As soon as a contact is completed, immediately write down a record – "minutes" of the meeting. What you talked about, who you talked to, what you discussed, what you agreed to, and when you can expect it. Add all of these to your schedule.

Software used by salesmen – such as the venerable Act! – routinely includes this sort of functionality and it can be very valuable. You need to learn to "live by a schedule" and to explicitly document everything that occurs when it happens.

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