I am an developer working on several projects. One in particular is a team project but I ended up taking the entire workload. I have a team member that I have asked to critique the finished project and give me the changes in writing before submitting the project to bossman.

This team member keeps asking to meet with me and talk about it instead of just writing down the critiques for me. I have no time for a meeting and honestly would prefer getting their critique in writing for the sake of me not taking heat for anything that could go wrong with their features. so I dont take repercussions for their work.

I am running out of time for this.

Should I just meet with this member and write down what they say? (loses some credibility that they actually said what I write)

Should I wait for them to write down their critiques?

Some other third option?

  • I don't understand " for the sake of me not taking heat for anything that could go wrong with their features." – thebluefox Jul 13 '17 at 13:26
  • I don't want to take any repercussions for their work – KirynDawn Jul 13 '17 at 13:35
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    It's not entirely clear why you're getting feedback from this person. Are they (officially) responsible for making sure you're doing the right thing or did you just casually ask them for feedback? – Dukeling Jul 13 '17 at 13:47
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    @Dukeling let me clarify. This is a TEAM project. So multiple people are supposed to be working on this. However they have not done a thing. This shows the boss I have the qualities of a bad teammate. (Not sharing credit or being close-minded, failures in the team itself). Me asking for my teammate's changes is a pre-caution to show I am using all my resources and work well in a team. The paper trail is a defining line to who did what work and who should get credit (good or bad) . – KirynDawn Jul 13 '17 at 18:33
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    "I don't want to take any repercussions for their work" But you said they didn't do any work. Which is it? – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 13 '17 at 22:51

If the person won't send you the information in writing, do option #1# and then send an email to that person saying. "From our meeting, I took the following notes. I'll start working on this immediately. Please let me know if I need to add or correct anything".

Then you've got your paper trail AND credibility. Plus, you are actively taking control instead of waiting for someone else to act.

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    Would it make sense to write this in a way to assume correctness if no reply is send (for those notoriuos non-answerers), e.g. "please reply if you found any error or something is missing"? – Sebastian Proske Jul 13 '17 at 14:24
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    Excellent answer. By sending them a copy of your notes you're giving them a chance to refute or clarify anything. Aside from improving the communication, it also confirms the veracity of your notes for CYA purposes. – Doktor J Jul 14 '17 at 13:27

Email is the least efficient way of communicating with someone. It is, however, an excellent way to make sure that what was said, is remembered the right way.

You should meet with your colleague. Then, you should talk out exactly what still needs to be done. Then, either one of you puts that in an email, and sends it out to the other for archiving. (And optionally to managers or whatever)

By emailing it to the other person, you lose no credibility. If they disagreed with your email, they should have reacted to it. (This should never be necessary, assuming you're both cooperating with the other. But the option exists, so the lack of reply means they agreed with the email)

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    I disagree with email is the *least* efficient way of communicating. Depending on context, such as the amount of information to be conveyed, availability of the people involved etc., it can be a very good form of communication. The rest of this answer is ok though. – mandy Jul 13 '17 at 20:36
  • @mandy Exactly. There are some situations where email is one of the worst ways to communicate. There are plenty of situations where it works great. It's an extremely useful way to distribute information in the exact format you want it (instead of say a conversation where things could be misinterpreted/forgotten). – JMac Jul 13 '17 at 21:02
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    If it's more than two paragraphs of information I need to know, it probably needs to be in some form of document management system or knowledgebase where everyone can see, not in someone's email. – Erik Jul 13 '17 at 21:07
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    Just because it's more than two paragraphs of information you need to know, doesn't mean it's 2+ paragraphs that are relevant to anyone else, so a document management system or KB entry would be overkill when most email clients have a perfectly serviceable search function (plus, I can organize the info in my mail folders in a way that's effective for me, not what follows the DMS/KB hierarchy, or I can copy/paste to a document on my computer or cloud storage as I see fit). – Doktor J Jul 14 '17 at 13:30
  • @DoktorJ I've found that anything that needs to be searched back a later time probably will also at some point will be looked for by someone who isn't me (like my replacement, or backup, or new teammate) and they won't be able to find it. And if it's really only relevant for a few hours, chat is a better place than email. – Erik Jul 14 '17 at 17:34

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