Unplanned Leave

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pphate200888
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Hello All,

Want to discuss unplanned leave in Projects.

Due to this, delivery of a project is postpone. I have to inform the client about the same.

What is the best way to approach client for the same.

Regards,
Prashant
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dhaughey
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Hi Prashant,

It very much depends on the reason for the unplanned leave. I assume that important resources are not available to the project unexpectedly. Perhaps this is due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the death of a family member. In this case it will be easy to talk to the client about the circumstances delaying their project. Think about how you are going to approach them; what are your options? Make sure that you accompany the bad news with steps to minimise the impact of the delay.

Alternatively, if the resources are away for a reason that could have been foreseen, such as a holiday, then you have a harder job on your hands. How will you explain this to your client? They are likely to think it’s your problem, and it won’t reflect well on you as project manager. Think about your approach to the client, perhaps you will have to admit your mistake, and again, accompany the bad news with steps to minimise the impact of the delay.

Whenever there is bad news, it’s best to bring the client solutions, not problems. They will expect you as project manager to have some answers.

Hope this helps.

Duncan
pphate200888
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Thanks a lot Duncan.

Regards,
Prashant
stonesfan
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I faced a similar-ish scenario although was managing a project of which involved an IT System being implemented by a 3rd party supplier. To cut a long story short the two 3rd party techies who were installing the new system resigned on the spot and left for a better offer elsewhere. Transpired they were actually contractors of which had no notice period. Obviously I was hot on the case of their Service Delivery Manager who was extremely apologetic and did all he could to get some appropriate resources onto site. The project was delayed by a week and was not going to complete in time for the return of the students. Thankfully we had done our risk assessment and had a workable contingency plan in place of which at least meant business as usual when doors opened for the first day or term. This kept the likes of the Headmaster and Governors pacified. The new system was a big part of the schools marketing strategy so works were carried out over two weekends to ensure it was in place as soon as possible. An all nighter included!

To his credit the SD manager upgraded our support level for this product from 'bronze' to 'silver' free of charge as a gesture of goodwill. We were able to empathise with his situation and have maintained a good relationship with his company since.

Sometimes, its gestures like this which can be pivotal in maintaining a healthy relationship. Not everything during adversity is black and white or has to end in tears.
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begeland
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I unexpectedly lost my lead tech on a project who was heavily involved with the customer...and it was fairly suddenly. And it could have been avoided. The individual was remote and international and it was tradition that they would be gone for a period of time (I think it was more than a month) following their wedding. I didn't even know the person was getting married, but the resource manager of the individual did. He neglected to tell me, or have a resource ready for me in advance. This created a very messy, very uncomfortable situation with the client, which was a major university on the east coast here in the US. I escalated the situation and got an equally skilled tech resource to take over, but there was a learning curve that could have been somewhat avoided with shadowing and there was the sudden need to inform the client. There was nothing I could really do to smooth that over other than to let proactiveness and good performance from that point on help smooth the situation over. Communication is key....Shout it from the rooftops :)

Brad
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