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Friends Incompetence

Our company had a project that we needed to contract out, and one of my friends got it based mainly on my recommendation. He just submitted it, and the work is not acceptable. I think my reputation is damaged, and I'm wondering what to do.

When you sub out work and receive sub-par performance, there are some key steps to take whether you recommended the contractor or not. The first is to meet with whoever assigned the project and find out exactly what happened.

Perhaps the assignment was ambiguous or the manager in charge failed to provide adequate follow-up while the work was being done. If the contractor was simply turned loose and came back later with shoddy work, your manager failed to manage. At the same time, it is possible that the contractor is incompetent.

If the problematic work was truly due to questionable performance by your friend, you and the manager should discuss the matter with him, show him the specific problems, and ask if he can make the necessary corrections. He should do so without charging your company, and if he values goodwill and good friendship, he will do it.

If the problem was due to inadequate guidance from the manager, then the manager should meet with the contractor, restructure the project, and then truly manage it. If he is unable to do this, then the entire situation needs some senior managerial attention.

By approaching this matter in a businesslike manner, your reputation should remain unscathed. The only reputations that are somewhat at risk are those of your manager and the contractor, and any salvaging is up to them.

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