Posted by: Jeff Timmins | April 27, 2015

Don’t show dirty laundry in public

Don’t show your dirty laundry in public

Seems like a simple advice, something you might have heard from your mother … but because good lessons are often worth repeating … When working through the “whys” of a failure, it is best to only include those that were part of the failure. Omit from the conversation Executives or Project Leaders until you fully understand the failure and the cause.  
5279158209_ba33fe6a99_bIt is fine to include high-level people on your emails when you are reporting the final summary of a project failure or when a little pressure is needed to get traction on a question. That kind of “laundry” is fine.

What I would consider poor communication or “dirty laundry” is making a fellow worker look bad in front of their boss’ boss’ boss or asking them to defend themselves for something that might not be their fault. I understand having to report status or root causes but the right thing to do is to get the correct information (via emails or meetings) from the people involved. Once you have that it is the right time to report your findings to Executives or Project Leaders as needed. That way you a) don’t make people look bad on accident and b) you provide the busy people with a concise summary instead of 50 emails going back and forth.

Relationships are important, especially for a Release Manager, so don’t needlessly damage them. In addition, time is important to everyone so be careful whom you include on your emails.




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