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I'm a manager responsible for company's Supply in a big geographical region. My budget comes from the budget of the region.

As a result I have 2 bosses: my formal boss (1) is the head of the international Supply but my second boss (2) is the head of the region. I'm dependent on the regional boss for my budget and I need to explain to them my finances and performance. I negotiate my budget with them independently or almost independently from my "formal boss". My formal boss (1) has no direct power over my budget - he needs to request budget from (2) if he wants to perform his own projects in my region.

Now (1) decided, without my ok, to devote a considerable part of my budget on his pet project. The project is organized in my region but it's directed by (1) independently from me. I don't control it, have 0 influence on how it's developed. I wasn't consulted on it.

I'm not sure to what extent this situation is usual. It feels my opinion was ignored but it might be I'm overthinking it. What's the way to tackle it?

The topic is 1) about the decision but 2) above all about the process. Because I do understand that priorities change and need to be discussed. But: the decision was taken without my participation. I learnt about it from my formal manager's report who requested the money. And no, it's not the first time.

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  • You did not mention if (1) requested budget from (2). It is possible the request was made and approved without your knowledge or consent. This would not be abnormal. Sep 18, 2020 at 6:02

2 Answers 2

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Step one: Make consequences visible. Step two: Develop 3 or 4 future scenarios and show consequences. Step Three: Let boss(es) decide.

One scenario is: You get no additional budget. Which other projects or areas will suffer?

Maybe you get 2 moneys more: What happens then?

Or you get 100 moneys more: What happens then?

Maybe there are some possiblities of things that can shift without spending more money.

Maybe your boss was unaware. Maybe he doesnt care that other projects are underfunded. Either way, you made your boss aware of the issues, you took step to align on piorities, and you should be fine.

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  • Sorry Benjamin, I think in the first version of my post I didn't stress the right thing. Your answer is ok, but that's the very problem: my manager didn't give me any opportunity to discuss consequences/ scenarios. They took the decision themselves, without any effort to discuss it with me. Now I have to accept it. Sep 18, 2020 at 6:37
  • @user2952351 So..what's your question?
    – Rohit
    Sep 18, 2020 at 13:43
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    You can do this even after the decision has been made. You could email this, or preferably schedule a meeting with your boss where you present this. Then your boss can reconsider. He could say: Continue as planned. But then he is better informed and you have done your duty. Prepare to take this with grace.
    – Benjamin
    Sep 18, 2020 at 16:25
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If your direct manager is using your budget quota to invest on something, that means that "something" is equally (or more) important to them.

There's no other way than a direct conversation to re-align the goals. Your manager may have their priorities, but if they clash with your target and if executing other work is taking a toll on your plans, then either the plans need to be revised, or your manager should able to arrange and provide you with sufficient funds (or any other requirements for that matter) to carry on your work and execute that successfully.

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