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In development, what is the best way to manage delays? For example, you're doing a task, new requirements come in/something which further steepens the learning curve of something that must be learnt right there and then, and you need to communicate this to the PM/manager.

What is the most effective way of doing this?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 27 '11 at 20:16

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I don't understand the question: "managing" the delay is the PM/manager's job; and "most effective" way to communicate the fact that there are new requirements is ... just to tell him, either in writing or perhaps preferably face to face. –  ChrisW Jan 27 '11 at 1:01
    
Well you say that but recently I was stuck with a task in a language I have little experience in (But was very similar to a language I am very familar with - hint in my name - and he PM - my manager - was absent/ill. I hit delays because I was ordered by more senior team members to help with unrelated tasks). –  dotnetdev Jan 27 '11 at 1:05
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Voting to move this to programmers.stackexchange.com –  Dan Grossman Jan 27 '11 at 1:10
    
if you're doing a task and the requirements change then it's not really the same task. This should be reflected in your planning and monitoring, usually by opening a new task that references the old one. Otherwise, how are you going to know how long tasks really take? Speak to them about it face to face. –  Iain Jan 27 '11 at 2:52
    
Say something like "I have some good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first ?" –  user61852 Jul 31 '13 at 13:13
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3 Answers

Talk to them: face to face, person to person, as soon as you can. There's no better way.

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he PM - my manager - was absent/ill

I guess you could talk to your PM's boss about that, then, if you're not comfortable with the priorities which are being set/changed by your more senior team members.

If he's absent/ill then perhaps/hopefully someone else has temporarily taken over his duties: either his boss, or one of his subordinates.

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The earlier the better.

Managers can take corrective actions when they are alerted as soon as possible, like hiring another guy for doing the job, or tell the customer that either the deadline or the perimeter has to be relaxed.

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