My coworker and I were assigned a website development project. My team consists of me, my coworker and 4 other full time workers. I was the lead on this project. My coworker's task was to design a few logos and my job was to put the entire website together and add on content etc. This along with other projects were assigned to me a month ago. When it was first assigned, it didn't have a high priority. I had lots of work and focused on my other projects which I believed had a greater priority. My coworker also didn't put too much priority on this task.

I basically got 85% of the content done and worked on this project when I wanted to take a break from the other projects.

On Wednesday, I got an email saying there will be a quick review of the website on the coming Monday. I took this email as a 'the team will review the website and its content on Monday'. So I went through the website and made sure all links were working properly and that there were no glitches and I made sure that whatever content I had was placed on the website. On Friday evening my team had a meeting (2:30pm) where I was calmly told by the manager that the layout of the site needed to be changed and the change needed to be done by Monday 9am. My coworker was told that he needed to complete the designs / logos by Monday 9am as well. Note that I said 'calmly' because everyone else on the team seemed to know about this Monday deadline except for me and the other coworker.

My coworker normally leaves work at 4 and I normally leave at 5. We both believe that we were notified about this very late. I decided to stay a bit late on Friday and will be in early on Monday (5:30am) to finish up my task. However, my coworker (upset that we were notified so late) decided to go home when he normally goes home (4pm) and won't be coming in early on Monday to finish the task.

So I'll be done my part but my coworker will not have the designs / logos done. My supervisor will ask my at 8:45am on Monday if the project is done. I will be done my part but my coworker won't be done his, and I don't blame him (we were notified very late that this all needed to be done by Monday and during the meeting on Friday, it seemed as if everyone else knew what was going on except for me and my coworker).

I don't blame my manager because it was my team who was supposed to notify me about the deadline, not my manager. My manager normally just gets updates from the team (4 full time workers) and assigns the tasks to the team, who then assign it to me and my coworker. My manager just held to team meeting to make sure everyone was on the same page (and turns out me and my coworker weren't on the same page as the rest of the team).

I've only had 6 months of work experience prior to this job. I don't want to put blame on my coworker because I don't blame him. My team members are really nice and I don't want to blame them either. I don't really know who to blame because I don't know where the miscommunication happened. I dont know who's fault it is that me and my coworker were not notified about the Monday deadline earlier when everyone else seemed to know about it.

My manager will ask me if the project is done on Monday. I'm thinking about telling him that it is finished except for the logos and when I say that, he'll definitely know that it was coworkers job to get the logos finished by Monday 9am and he clearly didn't finish it.

How do I make my manager realize that it really isn't my coworkers fault? The entire team except for me and my coworker knew about the Monday deadline.

Note: the email basically said 'Hi, we'll do a brief review of the site on Monday', it didn't say that the entire project needed to be completed.


I was the lead on this project.

So you were in charge of the project.

I don't blame my manager because it was my team who was supposed to notify me about the deadline

No they weren't. As lead, you need to speak with the manager to make sure you and your team are aware of any deadlines. If your manager needs to speak to your team and then they are meant to inform you there is something going wrong.

I don't really know who to blame because I don't know where the miscommunication happened / I dont know who's fault it is.

Its your fault.

If you were the lead on the project, and weren't on top of any upcoming deadlines, its your fault if they were missed.

How do I make my manager realize that it really isn't my coworkers fault?

By clearly stating it is your fault, apologise and as the lead explain where the issues are and how you intend to rectify them.

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  • Im assigned tasks by full time worker. I have 5 ongoing projects (this project being on of them, call it project A). I was told to focus on 3 projects, project A not one of them. Friday evening my manager wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page/everyone knew the project needed to be completed by Monday. I didn't and I don't blame myself but I realize that from now on, the moment I'm assigned a project it's my job to ask for the deadlines and to go after anyone else who is supposed to be working alongside me and to make sure I am fully aware of anything regarding the project. – user18703 Mar 16 '15 at 2:21
  • I think by 'lead' the OP means technical lead, and not responsible for scheduling. – DJClayworth Mar 16 '15 at 3:28
  • @DJClayworth Right on. Thanks for the clarification. Sorry for the miss-communication, I meant technical lead. The actual person who is overseeing the project is a full time worker. I do the coding for the website. Nonetheless, stormtrooper did make me realize that it is my job to go and figure out the deadlines and stay on top of every project I'm assigned to work on regardless of if I'm simply just asked to do the code for the project. – user18703 Mar 16 '15 at 3:34
  • Even as technical lead, it is your responsibility to make sure you know the schedule. How else will you plan when/how to pull the technical components together to meet the deadline. While the person overseeing the project should have told you, as the technical lead, I would expect you to be meeting regularly with the project owner and asking these questions. – cdkMoose Mar 16 '15 at 17:06
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    @DamianNikodem Clearly wrong answer as the deadline was moved out from under him. – Joshua Sep 3 '15 at 22:13

Your task did not include the graphic assets (logo). If these are not available in a few hours when you go in to the office to finish up the site, put placeholders (that are clearly marked "Placeholder graphic" or "Logo goes here") and don't say anything. The manager who assigned the work will know who didn't do their bit by seeing what's missing.

Hopefully, this is not a "final" review, but a "progress" review and your coworker won't be in too much hot water.

If you are confronted with "the deadline is today" you can always say the first you heard about the Monday deadline was at the Friday meeting.

But honestly, you should have said something to your manager on Friday afternoon as soon as you heard about the deadline. It's better to give management a head's up as soon as you realize a deadline is in jeopardy

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Stick to the facts. When the manager asks if the project is finished, simply say tht the project is practically finished, except for the logos. Your coworker may be upset, but he still owes the project the logos. It's not an ideal situation but if t won't take your coworker a huge amount of time to do away with the logos, the situation is manageable.

Don't point the finger at anyone. Let your manager work it out - that's his job. If there is anyone to blame, your manager will figure it out.

On the other hand, it's absolutely important for you to find out how is it that both you and your coworker were out of the loop over the Monday deadline while the rest of the team was fully aware. It's probably a situation where the team assumed that both of you knew and thus did not bother to notify the two of you. You most probably will have to be clear to the team and to your manager that the information must be shared and if there is redundancy and duplication in the sharing of information, so be it. You don't want a repeat of this episode.

I take the expectation that if I am the most affected by anything, I am usually the last one to be notified and the last one to know. This expectation motivates me to leave no potential source of info unqueried. I have looked silly for doing the paranioa checks and stupid for failing to do them. I prefer to look silly.

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