Who’s to Blame

This article discusses a concept that I only recently learned about in detail. While this issue is one that affects people who sub-contract all the time, it is also one that most people either handle well or poorly, but rarely consciously.

Imagine a client, John Doe, who contacts you to perform some work for him. In turn, you hire Jane Smith to execute a portion of that work. As the project is fairly large, various milestones may be missed or altered, but eventually, John gets his work completed.

If, however, things are not going well, what do you tell John?

You could tell John the truth, or you could avoid the issue, or you could lie.

However, in reality, John doesn’t really care about why things aren’t getting done on time. He cares that his project needs to be completed. As such, anything relating to explanations about the past are not really relevant – all that matters is how the project will get finished.

When I had this told to me by a client, I realized that this applies at all levels of reporting. The why, or who, does not matter. It isn’t important who can get blamed for something or other – what matters is how you’re going to act going forward.

If, of course, the same person or reason continues to cause you problems, you would be prudent to deal with it. But that would be something to be handled quietly and without fuss. It makes absolutely no difference in the scope of working with clients.