I am project managing on an on going bases an e-commerce site for a client. I have only one resource working on it, a sub contractor due to a lack of resources. He is working remotely.
I am having great difficulty managing him, and it is affecting my ability to deliver tasks in a timely manner. He has delivered the site, but it was after many delays.
Some of the issues that I am having:
- Not always returning calls, text messages, emails. Sometimes this is understandable since he is working during the day, but in evenings or weekends he is not always responsive.
- Only completing tasks according to his own time table and not when the client needs it. Simple tasks take three times as long to do.
- Often ignoring requests I may have for work to be done, unless the situation becomes extremely critical and the client starts repeatedly asking me when x task will be done.
- Tells me he will do work by a certain deadline, but does not meet it leading to delays.
- If I am unsure about something technically, and need his opinion, he is not always available to answer in a timely manner.
Difficulties I am now having:
- Client wants to improve their web site, due to my resource's general unreliability, I am unable to take any new work on. This is frustrating for us as a company since it is affecting our cash flow.
- My credibility as a PM has dropped with the client since the project is often delayed, or I am not always able to get back to them quick enough about any queries.
- I am often extremely stressed out because of this project, upper management is fully behind me, since we eventually delivered the build. But I am not enjoying managing it.
- I am working on weekends, often on standby, in case of any client requests. This alleviates my stress levels, since if something goes wrong, I am not sure he is reliable.
I have escalated this to upper management requesting that we replace the resource, we are looking into doing this. However, for the time being I need my resource to do the following:
- Bug fixes
- Set up a staging environment for handover period
Despite several requests, he is not listening to me and is doing it in his own time.
How can I manage this situation better?
Since there is some confusion here about the arrangement with the subcontractor:
He knew before signing up that he will be working on weekends or evenings since he has a day job. At the time he signed up, he felt confident that he could deliver the project.
I had just joined the company then, so did not have enough time to recruit somebody.
I do not set his deadlines, rather I ask him when he will be able to do x task done by. He often tells me when, but then it turns into a situation where he does not end up delivering by that date causing me to start badgering him.