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One of my colleagues and I are doing a project together and I depend on his results, but his deadline has been extended several times.

I asked him why he delayed his work. He answered that he was dragged to other tasks. Then I asked if those tasks related to his OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) or not, and he said no. He said that others (not his direct manager or boss) just let him do this or that and he cannot refuse, and he said that such tasks should have been assigned to other teams who are paid less than him. He also said that he thought he was benefitting from such tasks (paid more but produced less).

I wonder what I should do to correct such behaviors? What will he end up with?

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    "I wonder what I should do to correct such behaviors?" Are you his manager? If not, you are in no position to correct anything about your colleague.
    – sf02
    Nov 18 '21 at 16:14
  • @sf02 Then should I do his work to make sure that I can achieve my goals in my OKRs? Nov 18 '21 at 16:17
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    No, his work is his responsibility, your work is your responsibility. If you are unable to achieve your OKRs due to your colleague not completing their work you let your manager know and let them handle it.
    – sf02
    Nov 18 '21 at 16:21
  • Do the OKRs apply to you personally or your team?
    – Helena
    Nov 18 '21 at 20:01
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You have two problems if you do nothing: You don't complete the work you are supposed to complete, and you don't have any other work to do. Your manager would really, really want you to fix at least one of these problems.

So go to your manager. Tell them that you can't continue with your work because you are waiting for things from your colleague. Ask him what you should do. It's quite likely that your manager has other jobs that need doing, so you can work on those jobs instead of twiddling your thumbs.

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  • Thanks, really helpful! Nov 19 '21 at 13:50
  • Note that depending on the project management methodology being used and the OP's position in the hierarchy, "manager" might be replaced with "team lead" or "Scrum master".
    – nick012000
    Nov 30 '21 at 23:47
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I am assuming that somebody is managing or monitoring the progress of the project, or at least somebody is expecting the project to be complete at some time. I also assume that you have made some kind of estimate of when you will be complete.

The next time you meet with that person, tell them that the project will be later than you estimated because you are waiting for other work to be complete. Ask if that is OK. If it is then fine, do nothing (although I wonder why you were working on it if nobody is really waiting for it). If they ask when it will be complete, say that you can't tell because it depends on other people.

Simultaneously with this, ask the other person on the project when they expect their part of the work to be complete. Don't make it sound like you are trying to hurry them up, but just that you want to know when you can start on your work. Use that information in the conversation above - based on your colleague's response you can estimate when you will be finish, and if they can't tell you when they will be finished tell anyone who asks that you can't give an estimate for project completion.

If this is a problem for someone it's up to a manager, or project manager, to sort out your colleague's priorities.

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I wonder what I should do to correct such behaviors? What will he end up with?

You need to go to your manager immediately and report this. I don't think you should be explaining it like you did here though.

Say something to the effect of:

Boss, I completed task X and I am waiting for Y from Z. He is saying he is currently completing other tasks and I have no ETA on when this will be available. Thanks.

And let your boss handle it.

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I agree with all of the above – "this is what 'managers' are for." When there is any impediment to your progress on any assigned task, notify your manager and ask for his or her guidance. This also informs them that a potential problem exists. This sort of decision-making is "their job." It isn't yours.

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I wonder what I should do to correct such behaviors?

You shouldn't do anything. This isn't your issue and you shouldn't make it your issue. You colleague can take it up as an issue or not as they see fit. If you came to me as your boss to discuss this thing happening to your colleague I would coach you to focus on your circle of influence (things you can do something about) versus your circle of concern (things you can't do anything about except worry).

What will he end up with?

A paycheck each pay period just like you. We can't tell you how it will affect their career. Getting noticed outside their department might be a good thing. This is all between your colleague and their manager.

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    I think you are misapplying "the circle of influence". If there is some issue that is having a negative impact on my work, but it's outside of my control, I need to go see my manager to ensure they are aware. I would be highly disappointed if my manager thought to try to lecture me on these popularist ideas, rather than work with me to find a solution to ensure I was productive. Nov 19 '21 at 6:45
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    "If you came to me as your boss to discuss this thing happening to your colleague I would coach you to focus on your circle of influence..." Seriously? You wouldn't even try to find out why your underling is working for other managers? Nov 19 '21 at 7:11

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