- First of all make sure that you do know precisely the reason the required outcomes are not being met. Discuss this with your team and examine carefully the reasons. You then present these as facts and not as excuses; and then
- Have some specific recommendations to offer to enable your team to bring the project back on track.
The basic objective in this type of presentation is to let the facts speak for themselves – so you will need to:
- Inform management of the specific issues which are causing the problems; is it lack of resources, unrealistic time frames, or inadequate training. Whatever it is be precise and give examples and never play the blame game.
- Having outlined the problem now make recommendations for changes that you or your team feel will resolve the issue. Again be absolutely precise and specific. What needs to be done, who needs to do it and any changes this will entail to the original project criteria.
- Now you will need to obtain management’s agreement and support for your recommendations.
By outlining the problems and offering thoughtful recommendations for resolution, having to deliver bad news need not bring down the wrath of management upon you and your team. Often if these reports are given timely they can save time and money which may be wasted in pursuing unrealistic goals.
To sum up the three point format is:
1. Provide all the facts
2. Do not assign blame to anyone
3. Provide specific recommendations.
If you present the bad news in this manner, you can focus on the positive actions to be taken which is much more profitable, rather than engage in a fruitless search of ‘who to blame’, a sideline which is really only of benefit to lawyers.
Michele @ Trischel