Project managers aren’t interested in listening to or reading about all the excuses that you might use to explain why something hasn’t been done. Nor are they interested in watching you try and get off the hook by listening to or reading about who you believe is to blame for your failure to do something.
If you haven’t done something that the project requires of you, or if you have made a mistake, the best thing you can do is admit it. The truth is best. Don’t send e-mails citing reasons why something hasn’t been done. Don’t write e-mails professing your apparent innocence and attributing blame on somebody else – if you haven’t done something, or if you can’t do it, tell somebody, tell the project manager. Feeble excuses don’t bring projects in on time or on budget, honesty is the only helpful option.
We’d rather know that something hasn’t been done, or that you can’t do it, as early as is possible – it gives us the chance to consider our options and still stand a chance of bringing the project in on schedule and close to budget. If you provide us with a barrage of e-mails with content similar to the above (blame-mail), the project is likely to incur schedule and budget hits (time is money).
If you admit the failure honestly, early and without blame-mail, you will be respected for your decision. It helps you, it helps the project manager, it helps the project, it helps the business.
The truth is best…admit it…admit it early.