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I'm an intern at an electronic device company. My group (Team A) was interested in switching software and wanted to do an evaluation. I was put on the task of evaluating the vendors/Open Source solutions and presenting my findings. Another group in the company (Team B) heard that I was doing this investigation. Team B is also interested in switching software that serves a closely related, but not exactly the same function as the software Team A wants to switch to. My boss from Team A and the boss of Team B decided that it was mutually beneficial to treat this investigation as a single project, and to choose a software that will work for both groups simultaneously.

After having me spending a lot of time scheduling demos, speaking with vendors and making presentations, my boss has decided that Team A will absolutely go with an open source software, whereas Team B has decided they will absolutely go with a vendor software, and no longer wants to take my group's decisions into account.

Last week, my boss told me that I was to do no more work for Team B. I have informed Team B and passed along all of my documentation regarding the investigation to them.

However, I do not know how to inform the sales reps that I have been in contact with that I am no longer the point person for this investigation. Some have already sent follow-up emails asking about project status and I expect the rest will shortly. How do I inform the vendor that I am no longer the point person for the software investigation, that Team B will be taking over the communications, and that we are still interested in the software?

A little more explanation of why I am even asking this question instead of just sending an email:

I am worried that if I explain at all the situation (i.e. "I have been taken off of this project") it will reflect negatively on me as being either petty about office politics or having been taken off of the project for doing a bad job, which is not the case. My other concern is that if I do not explain the situation, then Team B will never respond to the vendors. Team B has been cc'd on all of my communications with vendors, but hasn't responded to emails even when directed at them - I have had to walk to their offices to get the information and then respond to the vendor myself. I'm also worried that if I don't explain the situation it will reflect poorly on my performance as well.

  • This is my first post on this site; please let me know how I can improve my post. I also am not sure if the tags are appropriate, would appreciate feedback. – Morgan G Aug 14 '17 at 17:41
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Don't make it more complicated than it has to be. If you're contacted, you say that you're no longer the contact person and ___ is. I would phrase it simply:

I'm no longer on that project, but Eric (or whoever) can help you now.

No further explanation is necessary. "No longer" on a project is better than saying you were taken off, but it means the same thing. Also, nobody will immediately assume why you were taken off because it happens all the time. People get put on different projects often simply because of needs of the business. Just relax and focus on the positive.

If they ask about the project itself, just say that someone else will have to fill them in from now on since you're focused on your new project.

Don't contact them though. Wait for them to contact you. There's no reason to spend the time on salespeople. It might seem harsh, but it's true. You're just one of many that they have to track and you're more effective if they get the new info when they're trying to contact you than out-of-the-blue.

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I am worried that if I explain at all the situation (i.e. "I have been taken off of this project") it will reflect negatively on me as being either petty about office politics or having been taken off of the project for doing a bad job, which is not the case.

None of these salespeople are in your leadership, nor do they write a check to you each pay period. So why are you so concerned with their opinions? And actually, it's not their opinions because you're worried about something that hasn't happened yet. Geez, chill out. Don't take any of this personally.

Whenever it's appropriate, as Christopher Estep has laid out, let the salespeople know. And FYI - good salespeople wouldn't be taking this thing personally, because they are used to doors closing on opportunities, and furthermore, you might be the decision-maker next time 'round.

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