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I am working as Team Lead for IT department of US-based organization. I am consultant for the current Organization. In this organization most of the lower and middle level like Developer, Lead, project manager roles played by consultants and Leadership roles Devmanager, Management Director, Vice President roles played by Employees.

I have given a team member which are from another vendor(not from my employer) Let us say V. I build happy team and developed goodwill, good reputation and good work relationship as well.

Now the below series of events happened

  1. Our VP given large targets for the year and asked us estimates. We have done our realistic forecast with realistic staff needs for the model. My manager and MD supported these estimates and forecast. However VP rejected and he wants more work to be done for the lesser budget.
  2. When he open options Managers from V came with a proposal. As per the proposal V takes total responsibility of delivering whole work with in the budget and more the quality expected. But Current leads, management can not interfere their operations, process, model and interview. In a nutshell they will come up with process, model and people. We have to accept and we don't have option to choose. Contract signed.
  3. We have accepted, and I have given both existing and new team members. I already know my existing team members(Who are from V) capabilities and I understand with in one-month new team members are less capable than current team members. After 1 month the first delivery is disaster and V's team is failed to meet expectations.
  4. The project manager, who is employee, who is star reputation in Organization and also great experience in Company, and whom I admire and with whom I have good working relationship got very upset with these deliverable and acted hard on them.
  5. In the next meeting He told me in the same lines "This is disaster, if we accept this way we will definitely fail. They made their promises, and they have signed it. Don't give any considerations, be strict to wards deadlines and quality. The good things will happen if we deliver what is expected. If it required be Bad cop to make good things happen". And he persuade us to be hard and strict. When he is acting hard they start delivering better. And at one point of time I am starting be hard, strict and less friendly and push them beyond their limits. It worked and subsequent month we got better results.
  6. Now the project manager left as he got great opportunity elsewhere. And I feel the work relationship has been broken and people behavior is changed to wards me. No surprises.

I have to act hard as the situation is desperate. But now crisis is over how can I restore the work relationship back?

  • You seem to be asking how to give up a leadership role.... If you're the leader and folks aren't delivering, you do have to push them; that's part of the job and they should all understand that. Like it or not, sometimes you will have to tell people things they don't want to hear. The only good alternative is either to catch the issues and correct them much earlier . If you can't find a way to do that, and aren't willing to be stern with your team when necessary, you'd be better off finding another leader, or at least getting training/assistance in developing leadership skills. – keshlam Oct 1 '16 at 4:00
  • You have found a leadership strategy that works, why would you want to go back to one that didn't work? – Kilisi Oct 1 '16 at 6:24
  • So you were hard on your employees during a crunch time but now that it is over you want tu go back to bring friends? – JasonJ Oct 1 '16 at 17:13
  • @JasonJ: I want to be again friendly and supporting – Babu Oct 2 '16 at 0:05
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1.Our VP given large targets for the year and asked us estimates. We have done our realistic forecast with realistic staff needs for the model. My manager and MD supported these estimates and forecast. However VP rejected and he wants more work to be done for the lesser budget.

What happened in this project might come more as a communication different than a real work problem. You had "real expecations" as you say and the VP did not see that you took enough consideration for the task required.

2.When he open options Managers from V came with a proposal. As per the proposal V takes total responsibility of delivering whole work with in the budget and more the quality expected. But Current leads, management can not interfere their operations, process, model and interview. In a nutshell they will come up with process, model and people. We have to accept and we don't have option to choose. Contract signed.

Don't take what the client tells you as a gospel truth... This could have been avoided by :

  • Refitting the scope of the mission to really answer the given situation
  • Avoid disaster being seing problem only later

Maybe that is not your duty but you could have talked to your manager about your conern on this assignement's possible fail. That might have lead with better communication between the two parts.

I have to act hard as the situation is desperate.

From what you explained you have a job with responsibilities and deliverables but as a consultant your deliverables are different from the people you are working with. That being said, you cannot be liked by everyone. Sometimes your deliverables don't match with your client's vision of the project and you might face a breaking point.

But now crisis is over how can I restore the work relationship back?

First what is done is done. You have acted the way you thought was best compared to the situation. If the team failed to meet expectations you knew what was the problem and it did not come from you but from the decision of the VP to have more work done for a lesser budget.

The company, the service in which you intervene existed before your arrival and will exist after you leave. And in this universe, everything is political. If the falt is on you it it perhaps because falt had to be put on someone. The VP doesn't want to lose face and might now the problem could have come from his unrealistics expectations.

At this point you might not be able to regain trust to the people you have been working with immediately. What I would recommend is to :

  • Ensure that all points of the problem have been discussed and end the unspoken with the people you have been working with. You had to act hard to be given results that were required by the VP (without giving the fault on the VP of course) and affirm your position.
  • Avoid problem's recurrence : ensure that a similar problem will not occur by making your client meet your expectations.
  • Recover the goal of the relationship : You have to keep in mind you don't want to have friends but you want a cordial understanding to be able to perform your work.

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