Maybe not a great question, but we work with a software delivery partner who we enjoy a very close working relationship with. They are a top team and deliver very high-quality software.

Recently a decision was made directly concerning my project without my input, which impacts the project in a negative manner. Long story short, six weeks of work will have to be re-done.

While this in itself is not a huge problem it makes the team look potentially bad in a politically charged environment. I elected to not inform the team about the decision, even though I had advance warning for 24 hours before the decision was communicated to them officially.

I don't want this to lead to mistrust or any kind of feeling on their part that I was complicit in the decision making, or I held out on them somehow by not letting them know sooner. My question is should I apologise to them or take any other action to smooth things over?

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    I fail to understand how you telling them 24 hours in advance would have changed anything. VTC – paparazzo Mar 10 '17 at 17:38
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    @Paparazzi My understanding is that he's feeling guilty about the decision above him affecting the team's morale, and is asking if he should offer them an apology after the fact. – Zibbobz Mar 10 '17 at 17:42

Decisions from above come down all the time, and as a manager coordinating work with another group, it is your responsibility to break that bad news to your partners unless there are already plans to make this information known to them, or if the information is confidential somehow. They should be informed of this decision as soon as possible in a neutral way that does not reflect badly on your manager's decision but acknowledges the hardship it creates.

I would not mention, at this point in time, that you withheld that information from them - it would not reflect well on you, and it would do no favors for them. Since they already know, there's also no sense in informing them a second time.

What you should focus on now is helping the team restructure their work to make the most of a bad situation - be careful not to reflect negatively on your superiors, but be sympathetic to the hardship the change will have on your partners.

In the future if you are given information like this that could affect the productivity of a group, you should bring it up as a concern - you may not be able to persuade your managers not to take this route (and there will probably be valid reasons for it as well) but you can at least try to guide the process a bit. Find out also if you can share this information with the group as soon as possible - as HLGEM mentioned, the information could be confidential, in which case holding it from them is the right thing to do, regardless of how it might impact their work.

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    As a manager, you have a duty to the company to keep information confidential until the official announcement. If you leak confidential information, that is a good way to get fired. You actually did the correct thing. – HLGEM Mar 10 '17 at 21:14
  • @HLGEM That IS a good point - I'm going to add it to this answer. Though I'm not sure it's confidential, better to be safe than sorry. – Zibbobz Mar 10 '17 at 21:37

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