One of the biggest problems leaders have is that negatives on any project are not known until it’s very late – sometimes until the project is in crisis. There are several reasons why people don’t want to break the negative news early enough. A few come to mind:
* You don’t have time to explain all the details now
* You would rather work on resolving the problems rather than explaining it to the boss
* For the problem at hand, you don’t think your manager could help in anyway. You got to solve it yourself. So, what’s the point?
* Your boss may doubt your capacity if he knows there are problems.
* Sharing this now may be too much of detail, you think. Your manager has so many things to worry about – you don’t want to add another one.
I can go on but none of these are valid enough excuses to NOT provide an early warning signal. There may be promises made based on the outcome of this project and a delay in the project may have impact more far reaching than the current project alone. The best would be to provide an early warning signal combined with a risk mitigation plan – that way you are thinking solutions.
This applies to people at all levels – even if you are in the top most position in an organization (CEO) you are still answerable to someone (board of directors) and they need to know if there is a looming threat somewhere in the future.