I am in a bizarre situation. I am working as an external consultant on project basis. I am not a standalone consultant and I am an employee of a company providing consultancy services.

I have talked with my direct manager as well as with my team colleagues with which I am working on the project. Team colleagues are all client employees.

Client employee with which I should tightly work and cooperate, either is not capable to deliver the solution or he is not the best match for the position.

However, all the team members and I believe the client as well, are aware of this situation. I, personally don't care. But...

The problem starts to rise up as I am waiting for his tasks to be done, so basically he is a blocker for my tasks. I have organized an approach to tasks so we are not in conflict, but now the client starts to doubt that the solution (technical) which my company proposed to the client is not the best choice due to the significant amount of time needed to finish the task.

I have been aware of that, so, basically, I have took over his tasks, working in parallel, to deliver the solution. In easy wording, I am two or three steps ahead just in case, as I have significant experience in the field.

I have discussed the problem with colleagues, I have tried to involve the subject in discussion and working together, but none of this hasn't created any success.

As I don't have direct contact (I mean, I have, but that would be highly unprofessional) to the client, how good or bad is approach described bellow?

I have finished my tasks and client employee tasks as I need to deliver. The only way I can increase traction and visibility is to post a group message with a detailed explanation of what I have done, why and how.

This will be obviously 'pointing finger', but I need to make clear how much effort is really needed to accomplish the tasks. Again, the technology is pretty common and we have good documentation.


4 Answers 4


I am in a bizarre situation.

No you're not, this is common enough. Only bizarre bit is that a pro consultancy doesn't have procedures in place for exactly this sort of issue.

As a consultant you cover your back. Keep the requests polite and professional and their manager should always be in the loop or yours. Really, you should already have clear communication channel protocols as part of your training.

If the client fails to pick up that there is a an issue that needs to be addressed, that's not your concern. If the client feels that your company is not producing the best solution that's not your concern either. It's your managers, and you have already informed him/her.

This is precisely one of the things a consultant firm manager should always be looking for and have strategies in place to deal with. Because at the end of the day it's part of their role/responsibility. Larger companies will often have people specifically assigned to handle client/staff relations and oversee progress.

All you need to do is cover your back and do the work professionally, don't get personal or take anything personally.


If this is an issue that impacts the quality and timeliness of your work, you should encourage your manager to discuss the challenge with the client sponsor of your work.

The client sponsor should at least be aware that the quality of the work is at risk. It’s up to him or her to change the structure or membership of the team.

Additionally, you might consider digging in to why your colleague struggles to complete work - if you can address the root cause, you can make things better for the whole team:

  1. Is it a skill issue? Can you invite this person to apprentice you and teach the skills he/she needs to complete the work?
  2. Is it a prioritization issue? Does your colleague have other demands on his/her time, or perhaps not understand the importance of the project?
  3. Is it a formal mechanisms issue? Are there rewards or consequences that encourage this individual to work on something else?
  4. Is it a will issue? Is this person unhappy or dissatisfied in their role? Can you help your colleague to see the value of his/her work and work on more interesting tasks?

I have discussed the problem with colleagues.

Your colleagues likely have no power or authority to do anything about it. What you should do is to speak to your manager. You need to explain that your tasks are being blocked because of the client and that meeting the timeline goals is being adversely impacted.

Why would it be unprofessional for you to directly contact the client?

You have tasks that need to be completed. You cannot complete them due to this issue. You need management involvement. Whether that's your manager or the client manager.


This will be obviously 'pointing finger', but I need to make clear how much effort is really needed to accomplish the tasks. Again, the technology is pretty common and we have good documentation

You have done your job , that your company has asked you to do, now you should report all the work and documents to one of your colleages or to your manager, presumably they didnot have much of personal contact with your client employee , they can easily point their fingers , explainthe situation while t Doing the presentation of your good work . Put yourself a side no need to stay in contact with your client employee.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .