Technical team and I are having trouble signing off a project. We simply cannot solve the client's problem, and have been stuck for a few months trying too.

I am not sure what to do in this situation? To add complications to the matter, we have outsourced some of the work, and they are expected to be paid for their time.

1 Answer 1


Notwithstanding how you were supposed to get paid by the client, you need to have the best interests of your client in mind. This means you need to inform your client of your inability to resolve the issue and make a recommendation to your client to either find another solution provider or to abandon the solution because maybe there might not be an available solution invented, yet. The desire to continue chasing sunk costs is huge; this is a commitment bias and you need to fight the urge and help your client to fight the urge, too.

I hope you entered into a type of contract that compensated you for your effort in this problem resolution versus delivering the solution. If the latter, you're out of luck getting paid and you need to pay your obligations for what you outsourced. Lessons learned for the type of contract into which you need to enter for work like this.

  • Turns out that the sales team did not enter that type of contract, now upper management is on my back. Not sure what the best approach is moving forward.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 9:59
  • So my boss is not taking no the project cant be delivered as an answer now and is piling the pressure on, since he is pissed off that we won't get paid the full amount, how can I diffuse the situation? Everyone including the original subcontractors are stressed out since we are trying absolutely everything and nothing is working.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 22:03
  • @bobo2000, it sounds like you are in a no win situation for yourself. You have to rise above your boss's anger and pressure and stay steady with your communications in a fact-based, non emotional way. As well, keep trying to find that solution using your best efforts; keep motivating your employees and subs the best you can; keep persevering. I wish I could provide a better answer for you. This could end up ending ugly but you'll walk away a better PM from all the lessons to be learned. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 12:32
  • should I start looking for a new job? This is annoying because I have signed off every other project for this company, and still signing off projects after this.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 17:15
  • Ok an update: Boss took me aside, we spoke about this project, and it looks like my job is safe but my reputation has been damaged within the company because of it. He seemed to understood what the problem was, but is now nit picking on small mistakes I have made on other projects, and has called for improvement.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 14:41

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