The client (client is just a department of our org) requested a specific project to be implemented, by end of phase 1 the management changed. The new management don’t want to use phase1 nor to go ahead with phase2 (they even mentioned that verbally) but on official communications and emails they asked us to go ahead

Then they stopped using the system claiming phase1 was not functioning and on doing testing we couldn’t find issues and asked them to show us the issue or attend with us co-testing session and they are just ignoring the emails.

How to deal with such a situation (escalation done to their seniors with no results)

  • 1
    The client and their management have decided that this project is of no value to them. Your management will tell you to continue working on the project, or to drop it and work on other projects. Unless you're in a senior position, there's nothing you need to do.
    – PeteCon
    Aug 27, 2020 at 2:51
  • My management wants me to get the client to co-test the system and accept it or fix it and move to phase 2
    – Ali
    Aug 27, 2020 at 2:54
  • 2
    @Ali: did you do what your management said? What was the result?
    – virolino
    Aug 27, 2020 at 5:50
  • @virolino well they said will test together and then ignoring calls and emails for days
    – Ali
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:46
  • 1
    And did you report back to your manager?
    – virolino
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


The manager of your project has to deal with this situation. If you are not the manager, you can actually do nothing really useful. If you are the manager, keep reading.

escalation done to their seniors with no results

There are two mistakes here:

  1. You do not escalate to their team, you escalate inside your team.
  2. You do not escalate to seniors (whatever that means), you escalate to manager(s).

Combined, you escalate to your manager. And your manager escalates to his manager if needed. And so on.

Each manager will consequently contact his homologue in the other team, trying to fix things. The escalation goes up until it reaches the common manager of the two organization trees. That manager will take the final decision, if it was not already taken.

Note: projects (external or internal) are based on contracts, not on "they asked us to go ahead". That is simply because someone has to pay for the efforts and for the materials / resources used.

Once (high) management is informed, there is nothing else to do. Just make sure that you have proof (e.g. emails) that you informed them about the problem - if possible.

  • I don't entirely agree with your last paragraph: I work for a big organisation, and we don't have contracts between the departments building things and the departments consuming those things - if they ask us for something reasonable which fits into the larger vision of the project, we build it. There is very definitely exec level sponsorship of the larger project though, and appropriate escalation points to deal with any disagreements about whether/how/when things should be done. Aug 27, 2020 at 7:57
  • @PhilipKendall: I used the word "contract" with an extended meaning, to cover also what you called "sponsorship". Other words might be more suitable in other different cases, but ultimately they are some kinds of contracts (even if they are not formally documented).
    – virolino
    Aug 27, 2020 at 9:00
  • @virolino I accepted the answer as it is really logical but the issue in our environment after escalating to my manager who escalated to her manager and then to director the director advised the client to work with us on this (all this already happened before I ask) still end user came ignoring and delaying replies maybe cause he is out of interest or he wants to project to fail by delaying it
    – Ali
    Aug 28, 2020 at 12:05
  • 1
    @Ali: some companies and some managers are just "flawed". They will just refuse to do the obvious thing to do. It is sad, but it is also a reality of life. The options are two: take it or leave it.
    – virolino
    Aug 28, 2020 at 12:25

Just pass it back to your manager, it's his/her problem to deal with, not yours. You shouldn't even be escalating to another team, your manager should have done that.

Since your manager gave you instructions and you didn't get a reply, pass it back to them and say you are unable to communicate with the other team and cannot move forwards with the project.

  • 2
    +1 This is a useful formula for a lot of workplace problems. Your manager tells you to do something. It cannot be done because of non-cooperation by people you do not manage. Report back to your manager. Aug 27, 2020 at 7:50
  • I'm not sure about the "cannot move forwards with the project." The OP can park the 'bug report' as unable to reproduce, and just carry on with the project as if nothing has happened. Until someone in management formally cancels the project, there is still a budget to book to.
    – Simon B
    Aug 27, 2020 at 10:46
  • @SimonB no, needs to inform the manager of the reason, after which it's the managers problem to solve. If the manager says park it and carry on, then do so, don't make that decision without authority if it's against procedures..
    – Kilisi
    Aug 29, 2020 at 0:00

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