Is it ok to communicate that a project is delayed due to a team member being sick? The reason I ask is because to some extend I feel it sounds pretty bad. But maybe there are some way to communicate it better than saying "sorry we're late because the main programmer puked all day and is unable to write a line of code".
How do communicate a delay due to a sickness within the team? Examples/Specifics are welcome.
Even when one programmer is not available, the team should be able to recuperate by pulling in another programmer.
We follow pair programming in our company and even when one programmer is not available due to any organic risk or unplanned reason, the other programmer will be able to continue alone, this ensures that there is no high impact on the project.
While communicating to the client, I would follow this template:
Mention the absence of the programmer.
Convey the impact.
Mention the plan for compensating for the delay. (If was included in the risk planning, mention that it doesn't have any impact.)
If this is the driver why you are running late, then you must communicate it. However, in doing so, you will be exposing your lack of risk planning. This is one of the most basic threats to any project or operations. It is an organic risk and should have already been mitigated via back-up resources to eliminate a single point of failure and / or contingency reserve to buy down loss when you have an illness on your team. Too late, so you need to communicate. Then go fix your risk capabilities.