Karthickkumar.aj
Founder & Ceo, Gegosoft
Tajsateesh
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
LizaTech
Director

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I m one of the director of my company, its very small scale and self funded start up. Started with a back up plan of 4months with sufficient funds.

Currently we were having only 2 developers, working on a single project.

For last 3 months company is going downgrade due to poor performance of its employees and irresponsible behavior towards the deliverable. As our both developers including one senior developer were working on a single project which is planned for not more than 30days for a client with the due commitments.

It was assured by the developers that they can do it and their expertise is at the level that they could have finished it.

We have followed very specific approach to finish it, like requirement gathering, planning, setting up the deadline, performance evaluation and many more.

as these guys belong to IT background, according to SDLC, requirement gathering, planning and developing the respective project within deadline is the responsibility of our technical team.

I personally mentored them for these activities, when they said it will take one month, I expected 45days. when they planned it I analyzed and maintained sufficient gap between commitment towards the client.

but they never met the deadline, and I kept extending it because it is the matter of fact that terminating those employees and hiring new was not supposed to solve the problem. I agreed to extend their deadline on various scenarios and situations.

Now the same project which was planned for 30days, took more than 85days and still that project is not finalized and tested.

I managed my client to wait for such a long period, I tried my best to understand my developers potential and help them learn new tech and help us grow along with their own.

after such a long period they raised their hands and now they are saying that project can't be finished.

now the situation is, company is not making business from last 3months due to this single project, which is not completed yet and not even I can expect it to finish.

Client is now disappointed with our commitment and standard of service. He is asking us to compensate his loss of time with debits of xyz amount.

As we are not having any business for 3 months, company doesn't hold any capital neither to pay to client nor to employee. As the responsible person should be imposed fine of xyz amount which is very minor part of the loss occurred to company, If I need to calculate the loss then the major loss is the client, then it comes to reputation, then it comes to future business, then it comes to loss of business for last three months, then it comes to wastage of resource for last three months.

Its very huge loss. Now company is not in the state to make the salaries of employees.

I m not looking for sympathy, but I m looking for the way to overcome this situation without moving more deeper into the loss.

I must make it clear, those 2 developers now resigned from their job and asking their full salary.

I have gone through many online suggestions which states that Indian Law doesn't permit any employer to hold the salary, I agree this clause in the light where company holds the ability to pay but not paying it.

But in our case the company is under loan and gone very deep into loss due to poor and unexpected ending of project. that project is not yet finished and they resigned and raised their hands by saying that "its not possible for us"

My question is.

1. Is it possible to judge a person by his interview of xyz time that he is expected to raise hands when company needs his support more desperately.

2. Is it ok, if someone to whome, company gives opportunity to grow and build his/her career and grow us together.... leaves company into such gr8 debits and still we are lawfully need to pay him the salary?

3. Salary is the exchange of individual's service, if his service is not upto the mark, then what control we do have as an employer over it?

4. Is it ok, if an employee leave a company without properly handing over the responsibilities? can't a company even ask him to finish the assigned job before you leave?

5. Who is responsible for the loss occurred to company?

6. An employee is the strength of a company on behalf of which we do commit our services to market, if we don't serve them properly then client can also claim for his loss and employee can also claim for salary then what is left with company??

7. Every startup company needs more dedicated and committed to service people, if we trusted them and given them few more chances to overcome the hurdle then also we are the defaulters and employee is free to move on??

8. Company is also an entity of govt. of India (its a pvt. ltd. company), what kind of employment support or guarantee we have from law? as the employee holds the right of salary to be paid in any case, then what we do have in our pocket in order to secure our business from such irresponsible candidates?

9. A single interview can't posses their actual attitude, no one can predict the performance and behavior of an employee in single interview. then why we are liable to pay the salary even if it is in loss.

10. If employee is in probation period then what kind of provision Indian Law says?? as these employees were on probation, which clearly means judgement period, which is still not over then also we are liable for their salary even if they do perform/ don't perform or if they are responsible for the sinking of a company?

11. We started this company with lots of dreams and a measurable capital which is no more with us now, these 2 useless employees came into picture and ruin the whole scenario of growth, now who will compensate our loss and dues??

12. Is it permissible by law to any employee to do whatever they want but company have to pay you. you are all over free to hit and run.

Please give me the best possible solution to understand what mistake I have done, what kind of solutions I do have at my side to excuse the salary, because it not at all possible for company to pay those employees who are very specifically responsible for the sinking ship.
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Hello Liza,

While empathizing with your situation, there are a few aspects/things that you COULD have done differently.

Pl recognize that this situation is something that EVERY start-up goes thru--only the responses vary. It's a sort of chicken & egg story.

That's a part of the growing/learning process for any Start-up I guess.

Coming to your situation, do you have anything IN WRITING with the employees that they commit to complete the project in 3 months?

Before answering your queries, suggest PLEASE DON'T mix-up emotional & commercial issues [I know this could be tough--but sooner you learn to separate/discriminate both, the better]. And this AGAIN is something EVERY Start-up goes thru.

And since you asked for a frank feedback to 'understand your mistakes', some points below WOULD be straight to-the-point, and to an extent 'blunt'.

Coming to your Queries:

1. Is it possible to judge a person by his interview of xyz time that he is expected to raise hands when company needs his support more desperately.

ANS: NO--it's NOT possible to COMPLETELY judge a person during the span of the interview process. BUT, the chances of misjudgements can be MINIMIZED. Pl note that any Interview process, though meant to SELECT, is more a process of ELIMINATION. You are 'selecting' by 'eliminating' the wrong [or to be more exact, the less-eligible] guys FROM THE RELATIVE CONTEXT.

2. Is it ok, if someone to whome, company gives opportunity to grow and build his/her career and grow us together.... leaves company into such gr8 debits and still we are lawfully need to pay him the salary?

ANS: Let's face it: Any Company hires employee(s) due to THE COMPANY'S interests. This isn't charity. And, by nature, any business entity is bound to make profits OR losses--which is dependent on many factors, the employee situation you mentioned BEING JUST ONE OF THEM.

3. Salary is the exchange of individual's service, if his service is not upto the mark, then what control we do have as an employer over it?

ANS: This is one aspect where I THINK you went wrong OR to put it in another way, COULD have done things DIFFERENTLY. Going by what you mentioned, the employees seem to have understood clearly that YOU are dependent MORE ON THEM, than the other way round. So they just took advantage of it. I am NOT justifying their actions--I have seen it happen & faced it myself too.

You should have got alerted within the first couple of months--when the critical milestones weren't reached. The moment you gave them a long rope & benefit of doubt, they got the message that they can take you for granted--or more bluntly 'for a ride'.

IF I get the scene right, I am sure there would HAVE BEEN occasions when you would have supported your employees & screened/saved them from the wrath of the client. Pl confirm reg this aspect.

4. Is it ok, if an employee leave a company without properly handing over the responsibilities? can't a company even ask him to finish the assigned job before you leave?

ANS: The Company CAN & SHOULD ask for the job to be completed before relieving an employee--as a rule. But, ARE YOU IN A POSITION to implement it? Small companies always have this Hobson's choice to make--IF one is strict with the employees, they feel very restricted & IF one is very free & friendly, then the mutual respect is usually misunderstood/misplaced as lack of authority OR in the Worst-case-Scenario, one of indispensability. It's always better to be Fair & yet Firm--the gist being: BALANCE between fairness & firmness.

The moment any employee gets the message that you HAVE OPTIONS [whether you really do or not is not the issue], the response mechanisms from them undergoes a change.

5. Who is responsible for the loss occurred to company?

ANS: While the employees surely contributed to the situation, @ the EoD, it's the Company that HAS to take the flak. The client gave the order to the Company--NOT to the employees directly.

6. An employee is the strength of a company on behalf of which we do commit our services to market, if we don't serve them properly then client can also claim for his loss and employee can also claim for salary then what is left with company??

ANS: This is surely a problem. Suggest wait for other members to respond.

7. Every startup company needs more dedicated and committed to service people, if we trusted them and given them few more chances to overcome the hurdle then also we are the defaulters and employee is free to move on??

ANS: Let's NOT mix-up 'trusting' & 'giving a long rope'. What you did was the later--WITHOUT realizing. You gave them chances--BUT @ WHOSE EXPENSE? I have partially touched this aspect in my response to Point-3 above. You gave them chances @ the Company's AND the Client's expense. Would that be a FAIR DEAL, IF you were an employee?

8. Company is also an entity of govt. of India (its a pvt. ltd. company), what kind of employment support or guarantee we have from law? as the employee holds the right of salary to be paid in any case, then what we do have in our pocket in order to secure our business from such irresponsible candidates?

ANS: Suggest wait for other members to respond.

9. A single interview can't posses their actual attitude, no one can predict the performance and behavior of an employee in single interview. then why we are liable to pay the salary even if it is in loss.

ANS: Already covered the First part of this query in my response to Query-1. Reg the II part ['...why we are liable to pay the salary even if it is in loss'], it is related to your Query-5 & my response.

10. If employee is in probation period then what kind of provision Indian Law says?? as these employees were on probation, which clearly means judgement period, which is still not over then also we are liable for their salary even if they do perform/ don't perform or if they are responsible for the sinking of a company?

ANS: What does the Appointment Letter you issued to them say about this aspect?

11. We started this company with lots of dreams and a measurable capital which is no more with us now, these 2 useless employees came into picture and ruin the whole scenario of growth, now who will compensate our loss and dues??

ANS: PL begin to take responsibility for YOUR actions--YOU hired these guys. IF you hired the wrong ones, that surely was YOUR decision. No one forced you to hire THEM--right?. Pl note that I am NOT....REPEAT NOT.....justifying your employees' actions/attitude OR taking sides. I am just trying to bring your focus to the WAY YOU COULD HAVE HANDLED things differently.

12. Is it permissible by law to any employee to do whatever they want but company have to pay you. you are all over free to hit and run.

ANS: Suggest wait for other members to respond.

Now coming to the Options open to you. I am not sure IF you have any further leeway [howsoever tough] with your client. If you do have, suggest meet them & convince them to give you another chance WITH NEW GUYS. Your IMMEDIATE FOCUS vis-a-vis the client is to ENSURE YOU DON'T LOOSE THEM. And do whatever.....REPEAT 'WHATEVER...... is needed to achieve it.

Now how do you get new employees?

One way is to hire freelancers or on-contract with clear Delivery goals laid-out.

Another way is to hire the new employees thru KNOWN REFERENCES--that way you have some semblance of checks made [for which you aren't geared-up yourself]. In fact, most Start-ups induct the first few employees from those whom THEY KNOW PERSONALLY OR THRU KNOWN REFERENCES--you realize the reason(s).

Suggest wait for other members to respond too.

In case, any replies have caused you any heartburn--pl ignore them. The intent wasn't that.

All the Best.

Rgds,

TS
I appreciate the elaborate response from Tajsateesh, which covers all aspects of the queries posed.

What has been cited are Business Risks which an entrepreneur must take into account while starting his venture; and aptly summed up in the first para :

"Pl recognize that this situation is something that EVERY start-up goes thru--only the responses vary. It's a sort of chicken & egg story.

That's a part of the growing/learning process for any Start-up I guess."

I think Liza should have avoided putting all eggs in one basket; should have had a Plan B as well as a contingency plan; like Outsourcing the assignment to someone/third party who was more competent - even if it meant a loss in the short-term.

The trust, credibility and timely delivery could have impressed the client and attracted more business from others.

With reference to other points: As rightly observed, the order was given to the company, not the employees.

Moreover, since the company is facing a loss, there is a talk of penalizing the employees.

What would have happened if the Company would have made profits and continued to make profits ??

The employees would continue to be paid their salaries and not the profit made by the company.

One has to remember that any gains belong to the company, and not the employees; right ??

In the same way if there is a loss, then it is only the company that has to bear the loss, and not thee employees.

Else, the employees should also be made prominent share holders of the company; which obviously was not the case.

The assignment was taken up solely by the company; without any consultation or stakes from the employees; so it would be unfair to ask them to compensate. It was not a business venture for them but a job or employment, and they have to paid for their services. If their services were not up to the mark then appropriate actions could have been taken at the proper time.

Perhaps more competent and proficient persons could have been brought in, rather than depending on them to keep the costs at the same level.

As it seems evident; the recruitment process was defective and the candidates were not evaluated for their technical skills.

Moreover, it is apparent that the senior management was not bothered with the progress, monitoring, supervision of the project and left everything in the hands of these Developers.

In fact, I find the Management Team - who thought they can sit back and relax, while the Developers worked hard to rake in the moolah; equally - if not more, guilty for the loss.

Warm regards.
I appreciate you response in detail Mr. TajSateesh

Please find my inputs after your answers/queries below

Coming to your situation, do you have anything IN WRITING with the employees that they commit to complete the project in 3 months?



I have more than 5-7 mails in their own words mentioning the deadline which never met 100%, every time they left something which again asked me to extend the deadline. Now the scenario is project is almost done I mean 85% done, but now they raised their hand.

Before answering your queries, suggest PLEASE DON'T mix-up emotional & commercial issues [I know this could be tough--but sooner you learn to separate/discriminate both, the better].



I m definitely not mixing up both. I m trying to be very fair to employee but Loss is also matter of fact which should be discussed only if that is the outcome their negligence and irresponsible behavior.

1. Is it possible to judge a person by his interview of xyz time that he is expected to raise hands when company needs his support more desperately.

ANS: NO--it's NOT possible to COMPLETELY judge a person during the span of the interview process. BUT, the chances of misjudgements can be MINIMIZED. Pl note that any Interview process, though meant to SELECT, is more a process of ELIMINATION. You are 'selecting' by 'eliminating' the wrong [or to be more exact, the less-eligible] guys FROM THE RELATIVE CONTEXT.



I don't say they are not capable of, they turned it critical for me by not paying expected attention. I agree they were not 100% perfect but to be honest I must rate them 6-8 out of 10. It again depends how many options you do have to select from then you rate them. at the time of their interview we eliminated 15-17 candidate those we did not find fit.

2. Is it ok, if someone to whome, company gives opportunity to grow and build his/her career and grow us together.... leaves company into such gr8 debits and still we are lawfully need to pay him the salary?

ANS: Let's face it: Any Company hires employee(s) due to THE COMPANY'S interests. This isn't charity. And, by nature, any business entity is bound to make profits OR losses--which is dependent on many factors, the employee situation you mentioned BEING JUST ONE OF THEM.



I m not concerned about different aspect because, I had handful of project for last 3months, My marketing, counseling, convincing and converting power was sufficient to drive business but what I was waiting for is to complete this project and they never made it clear that they need 3 months, they specifically mentioned in their reports about the expected time requirement which is not more than Max 40days. I understand their planning may go wrong, considering this aspect I handled my client for some extra period also. Loss is happened because of incomplete project after the several extensions. and more specifically when they raised their hands.

3. Salary is the exchange of individual's service, if his service is not upto the mark, then what control we do have as an employer over it?

ANS: This is one aspect where I THINK you went wrong OR to put it in another way, COULD have done things DIFFERENTLY. Going by what you mentioned, the employees seem to have understood clearly that YOU are dependent MORE ON THEM, than the other way round. So they just took advantage of it. I am NOT justifying their actions--I have seen it happen & faced it myself too.

You should have got alerted within the first couple of months--when the critical milestones weren't reached. The moment you gave them a long rope & benefit of doubt, they got the message that they can take you for granted--or more bluntly 'for a ride'.



here I understand my mistake, but what my experience says is, I should understand their problem and let them have some time to cross the hurdle as I must not expect that my employee should not face any hurdle?? Because If I start replacing my employees for each project and for their hurdles then I ll need to be engaged in recruiting every alternate month. sometime giving them space helps us to motivate them to work hard for the company which understand them and let them learn to tackle the situations.

IF I get the scene right, I am sure there would HAVE BEEN occasions when you would have supported your employees & screened/saved them from the wrath of the client. Pl confirm reg this aspect.



Yes, as it doesn't matter to client that who is developing the project, he is more concerned about the deliverable, I faced him every time and taken the responsibility on behalf of company. I never introduced my team for escalations, but yes when they needed to understand the requirement I asked them to contact the client and get it cleared to boost the speed of development.

4. Is it ok, if an employee leave a company without properly handing over the responsibilities? can't a company even ask him to finish the assigned job before you leave?

ANS: The Company CAN & SHOULD ask for the job to be completed before relieving an employee--as a rule. But, ARE YOU IN A POSITION to implement it? Small companies always have this Hobson's choice to make--IF one is strict with the employees, they feel very restricted & IF one is very free & friendly, then the mutual respect is usually misunderstood/misplaced as lack of authority OR in the Worst-case-Scenario, one of indispensability. It's always better to be Fair & yet Firm--the gist being: BALANCE between fairness & firmness.

The moment any employee gets the message that you HAVE OPTIONS [whether you really do or not is not the issue], the response mechanisms from them undergoes a change.



They knew I had options, as I was planning to expand because of more business in bag, I started screening new fresher candidates for future growth, I tried being friendly and free in the initial, but later I found no output then I turned slight strict about the deadline and quality of implementation, but still it was not affecting them, even in the later stage they were not even following the instructions and orders, I was quite and not taking any action against such behavior, because now I thought to be diplomatic and wait till the project ends and then will take action against the misconduct and misbehavior.

One more thing I would like to add here is, I came to know that they have deleted the data from their system which was the periodic backup of project, plan sheets, testing data, learning materials, software required to run this project, db backup file.

They left a single copy of project in their system, as far as I know and explained them in handbook also that any material you develop / download / use as a part of project is the property of company and you must not delete / copy / distribute / claim your rights / manipulate / disturb in any way. then isn't it very unprofessional and immature act. This is very concrete part to be considered while taking any action against them.

I m yet to handover the re-leaving docs to them, which means they will come at least once to me. And I m not interested in holding their docs, but off course in imposing penalty.



5. Who is responsible for the loss occurred to company?

ANS: While the employees surely contributed to the situation, @ the EoD, it's the Company that HAS to take the flak. The client gave the order to the Company--NOT to the employees directly.



I appreciate your ans, but please let us discuss on the fact that company is nothing but a empty vessel without employee it cannot do anything without a team, specially in IT industry. One option is to outsource but that I ll explain below...

Now, I don't want to present the employee in front of client and ask him to punish them, company should take responsibility in market(to client) but what about inside the organisation?? within a company its nothing but a body or team of people working together its the fact that company is not developing the project but the people doing it for company, then any human made mistake or irresponsible behavior should be marked and should be allowed to take required actions? If every employee start thinking such way then company won't have any control over such cases, Now If I consider that company is responsible for this in market then it is the question to be arised in organisation that who was doing this project? who is responsible for this loss??

Suggest on this....

7. Every startup company needs more dedicated and committed to service people, if we trusted them and given them few more chances to overcome the hurdle then also we are the defaulters and employee is free to move on??

ANS: Let's NOT mix-up 'trusting' & 'giving a long rope'. What you did was the later--WITHOUT realizing. You gave them chances--BUT @ WHOSE EXPENSE? I have partially touched this aspect in my response to Point-3 above. You gave them chances @ the Company's AND the Client's expense. Would that be a FAIR DEAL, IF you were an employee?



Here I mean trusting on their abilities, for e.g if I would have terminated them, then also its not fair !! you only must have said that you should have given them chance or notice. being a manager my role is not only to evaluate the abilities but also to try enhancing them, grooming them by make them fight for some deadlines, motivate them or providing with sufficient technical support.

I trusted their capabilities that they will improve within this project and that will help me for future growth. Company has to bare the expense if it wants to have a trustworthy and hardworking employees as we are not running a bullock-cart. we need dedicated people and in this case if company is baring the expense just because for future plannings it not expense its an investment and every business entity does it.

9. A single interview can't posses their actual attitude, no one can predict the performance and behavior of an employee in single interview. then why we are liable to pay the salary even if it is in loss.

ANS: Already covered the First part of this query in my response to Query-1. Reg the II part ['...why we are liable to pay the salary even if it is in loss'], it is related to your Query-5 & my response.



Please refer my queries in point no 5.

10. If employee is in probation period then what kind of provision Indian Law says?? as these employees were on probation, which clearly means judgement period, which is still not over then also we are liable for their salary even if they do perform/ don't perform or if they are responsible for the sinking of a company?

ANS: What does the Appointment Letter you issued to them say about this aspect?



What you want me to mention? off course it was not mentioned that if company will sink then we impose such penalty... but off course it is mentioned that you have dedicated your efforts to meet the organizational goals and project deadlines. You have to meet the KPA(key performance attributes) which includes timely project delivery. we also had a policy of Best performer of the month award for developers, even quarterly award and yearly award. we tried our best to boost their morale. We always paid attention towards the DBD(Delivered before Deadline) process. I given extensions just to let them understand that company is not selfish and it also respect it's employees in order to sow a seed of long term relationship off course professional. You must agree that its also important to make them realize that they are in safe hands.

Now coming to the Options open to you. I am not sure IF you have any further leeway [howsoever tough] with your client. If you do have, suggest meet them & convince them to give you another chance WITH NEW GUYS. Your IMMEDIATE FOCUS vis-a-vis the client is to ENSURE YOU DON'T LOOSE THEM. And do whatever.....REPEAT 'WHATEVER...... is needed to achieve it.



I can ask them to wait for me to wrap it in few more days and its difficult but I can do.

But still its not justice to company that let us discuss about the penalty that can be incurred on those defaulters... I want to understand that point because rest options I do have I planned. I just want a legal way to make them realize that they must not have done this and correct it in future for other employers.

I m not being emotional but professional... loss is loss

Now how do you get new employees?

One way is to hire freelancers or on-contract with clear Delivery goals laid-out.

Another way is to hire the new employees thru KNOWN REFERENCES--that way you have some semblance of checks made [for which you aren't geared-up yourself]. In fact, most Start-ups induct the first few employees from those whom THEY KNOW PERSONALLY OR THRU KNOWN REFERENCES--you realize the reason(s).


I tried in my early days of startup hiring referenced candidates but unfortunately I didn't get correct people, off course it is the part of my experience and I learned that in professional terms its good to have unknown than a known because atleast they don't seek sympathy from you being a director, they won't take you for granted for their mistakes and even if they do something unexpected you have to consider because they are referred by your close connections.

Same as business with a brother may end up your brotherhood... or else business.

In case, any replies have caused you any heartburn--pl ignore them. The intent wasn't that.

Hey dude, we are discussing the foot prints, and I m ready to correct my mistakes as I m always open to improve my knowledge and ability to tackle the situations.

Your suggestions are always welcome.. please guide to the peak.

Thanks and Regards
Thanks Mr. Raj Kumar Hansdah

I think Liza should have avoided putting all eggs in one basket;

It also matters how many baskets you have? business grows with one employee also, we had two... I can't understand why can't we discuss on faults of those defaulters. Whatever decisions we had made in order to sustain not to go down. strategies may go wrong but not every decision....

should have had a Plan B as well as a contingency plan; like Outsourcing the assignment to someone/third party who was more competent - even if it meant a loss in the short-term.



We first tried outsourcing but that didn't work because of cost factor. I can understand your aspect but that was not truly applicable in this context as the project duration was too short to plan a replacement but we planned with to handle client for some more time to have sufficient time for our team to finish it, as I already said that it was not out of their expertise level. I don't know if you belong to IT industry or not but I must explain the project - It was just a billing system for a shop. which is not really very difficult or complicated which needs a plan B when we have experienced developer in Team.

With reference to other points: As rightly observed, the order was given to the company, not the employees.

Why you are trying to defend the scenario?? off course not given to employee and neither we hired them to play chess in office?? this is part of their responsibility and they should execute it.. its simple... if someone doesn't execute his responsibility in any scenario he is supposed to be blamed by higher authorities. and in this case company is the higher authority. Please understand we didn't hire animal?? and they were not here for free?? and we were not giving them charity.

so please stop justifying it as a defense lawyer try to understand and justify it honestly...

Moreover, since the company is facing a loss, there is a talk of penalizing the employees.

What would have happened if the Company would have made profits and continued to make profits ??

It was not product, we are service based industry, we earn profit for which they do finish and whats profit and loss?? we lost fame, name, brand, business?? what profit could we have earned is money and again that is dependent on future successful submissions.....

so there is nothing to share stakes, off course they would have received the incentive for the project if finished within time and quality which I have already mentioned in my answer to TajSateesh... which means if we can share the profit in terms of incentive then we can impose penalty on to them... as per your calculations only.

Moreover, it is apparent that the senior management was not bothered with the progress, monitoring, supervision of the project and left everything in the hands of these Developers.

I think you didn't clearly understood my details given above, I said I mentored this project personally time to time, with significant updates... I must say sorry but your comments are nowhere looking as suggestive or problem solving.. its moreover defensing them and blaming management... you can be a good defense lawyer for such kind of special employees.

In fact, I find the Management Team - who thought they can sit back and relax, while the Developers worked hard to rake in the moolah; equally - if not more, guilty for the loss.

Mr. Raj, don't judge anybody on account of your understanding, it may be limited to some aspect, how come you justified that we sit back relaxed when project is running delayed more than double of the given time.

and you also evaluated that employees were working hard??? great..

We have made investments, and you think we had sweet sleeps till this point of time, I have no words for your expertise..... hope you are somewhere playing a very vital role HR. The company to which you work, for god sake start thinking something from their side also.

Mr. Raj thanks for your spot light but I m ok with others torch.
The best idea to keep projects in Timeline & in Budget is to deploy good Project Management Systems. You need to define the project goals correctly and force the team to meet them without fail.
A system like Gnatt Charts will greatly help.
And in TRUE perspective, as Project Manager you hold the responsibility for failure not your developers.
In any IT project, in normal practice 20-30% time delay is acceptable. But in your case, it is more than 200%, so take this as lesson and back to work board and sort out the things.
You can do the following
Sit with the developers. Identify the most difficult logical part in your software. Hire Expert Freelancers & ask them to finish up the job. The freelancers have tons of experience and will fix/write the code in few days.
And try with eLance to Hire Freelancer and escrow the amount. Do not pay, till the job is done.
Dear Liza

Thanks for your quick response. I do not wish to defend my opinions given earlier, which were based on the facts as available and put up before the forum; nor I wish to reject your criticism. I accept your responses at face value. My attempt was only meant for the purpose of soul-searching and to present the case in a fair manner, when the Management is bent upon recovering the loss from the employees.

If it is so, you must understand that NO COMPANY CAN EVER MAKE ANY LOSSES, since the Employees are the only LIVING factor driving the business, ANY LOSS can be recovered from them. Hope you agree !!!

Also, I do take objection to your remarks - The company to which you work, for god sake start thinking something from their side also. Let us not discuss or pass judgement on anything that is IRRELEVANT to this discussion and UNCALLED for. Moreover, it amounts to a personal attack. When you initiated this discussion you could have specified that any viewpoint CONTRARY to yours (the Management's) will not be entertained.

I think that is one more factor that may have affected this project. The AUTHORITATIVE, TOP-TO-DOWN One Way communication !!! From the nature of your response, one can be sure at no point of time any genuine attempt was made to understand the problems and difficulties faced nor any Suggestions for Improvement were solicited.



Since it was a simple project - "It was just a billing system for a shop." - One fails to understand how it could not have been delivered on time; since every other shop in Metros and Malls has such software supplied to them by such start-up and new companies. Moreover, since it is an Indian (local) client, it appears that all the higher management did in this case was; just to buy out time from the client.

Had genuine involvement been there, such a simple project would not have back-fired. The onus lies squarely on the project supervisor or person in-charge of it.

It would be enlightening to know - what action was taken on him or her ??



One must be brave and strong enough to own up the responsibility of something going wrong and learning from it; rather than passing the buck to someone else.

Being vengeful, complaining, lamenting in an overbearance of emotion does not help the situation. It is like a bad workman blaming his tools !!

I do not wish to add further, as one's inability to handle criticism does not augur well for a healthy discussion. All I wish to say is - Penalizing the employees financially or recovering the business losses from them is un-ethical and illegal.

Moreover there is a widely known business principle - "caveat emptor" - let the "buyer" beware !! which means that the "buyer" can not recover damages from the other party if things did not turn out as he expected. It was his own duty and responsibility to have verified the facts and consequences.

Also let us take the example; if one is running a transport business or say, a car; then in case of an accident, one can not ask the driver to compensate for all the damages and losses. Certain risks have to be borne by self and can not be transferred to other parties.

Having said that, I must say that I empathise with your situation; more so since it was a self-funded project. You have a right to feel ditched by your employees on whom you had placed some trust on timely completion of the project. However, instead of feeling bitter and being let-down, once must consider this as a learning experience and use to one's benefit in future.

P.S. I omitted to mention it in my last post; so let me specifically mention it here :

Please forgive in case you find any of my opinion harsh or offensive.

As an HR person I can not but have more concern for the employees and organic growth of an organization through human resource development.

Warm regards.
Hello Liza,

A few quick points w.r.t. your remarks vis-a-vis Raj Kumar's response.

Pl note that the members of CiteHR focus on the 'issues' AND also the behavioural aspects of those who raise issues/queries to be resolved. The premise for this is: Human psychology being what it is, once when a person's WAY OF THINKING is tuned/directed in a particular direction, ANY & EVERY situation that comes that individual's way is MOST OFTEN handled the same way--'right' OR 'wrong' isn't the issue here at all. While suggestions/solutions for the issues raised are given, the basis for ALSO focusing on the THOUGHT PROCESS of the thread initiator is to help him/her to change the way he/she handles any future similar situations. This is something like 'the difference between feeding a person & teaching him how to fish'.

Hope this enables you to see Raj Kumar's comments in a different light.

Now coming to your recent posting, you mentioned "....I can't understand why can't we discuss on faults of those defaulters".

Is your IMMEDIATE PRIORITY to focus on HOW to save your contract & consequently the long-term retaining of the client OR to focus on the actions of employees? Again, that is NOT to say that you should forget about them--but I think THE TIME IS NOT NOW.

IF you have a Company lawyer, suggest direct the employees to him/her--so that you can redirect your focus completely to the PRIMARY issue at-hand: which is to complete the Order & retrieve the situation with this client.

Like Karthick Kumar suggested, you can depend on eLance OR freelancer.com or many such sites focused towards only freelancers--you can pick-up ONLY those residing in Pune. Or like I mentioned earlier, you can hire on-Contract to finish the pending task [though my experience is that many hesitate to work for short-term contracts, as they prefer either long-term contract OR permanent employment OR even if they did, they would be more expensive].

All the Best.

Rgds,

TS
Hi Mr. Raj Kumar and Karthik Kumar,

Thanks for your replies and valuable inputs.

I would like to make it clear that, I m an Er. by qualification, and I belongs to business development team for the company and holds the responsibility of business development, to execute the requirement we had one Sr. Developer and one Jr. Developer.

Sr. Developer had experience of handling, developing and delivering the projects for more than 4 projects. It was expected from that guy to take care of the development center.

I agree that asking to compensate the loss is not legal / ethical. Ok but I want you to understand the efforts and support given by the management to the team.

Now, when they faced the problem, those were very silly as per my and our other experts evaluation, I think you will understand the scenario best by this short description (its one of the number of problems they faced )-

That Sr. Dev was unable to design reports in Crystal report, He said he has done it several times in past but the issue is quite different and he ll definitely solve it. after some period of given time with no positive outcome, I consulted one of our tech expert in industry, he said there is something RDLC in dotnet can be used as alternative. I given these inputs to team. one person was attempting the RDLC and another was still trying crystal reports. All of a sudden I came to know that Crystal reports are working now.

Then I asked them to design all the reports, they had done it, few look and feel changes I asked, all this process took more than sufficient time.

then it came to host that application and it went in testing, while testing we found that reports on server are not showing data from server db. now the challenge was again complicated.

at this point of time I was too far from the orbit of RDLC as much more time we spent for this process as we didn't expected such issue.... Now the only option we had is to remove the bug, it took more 2 days to the Sr. dev to make one report perfectly running with server data, but still others are not working, that guy is also very puzzled, I m also very puzzled we sat together several times to understand the situation but couldn't find any solution.

We tried consulting few experts to handle it, but everyone is saying that it must not happen you must be missing something but still my Dev is not able to find the bug.

Now Please tell me, what another option could have been for this.

By the way, the new issue came into light is,

One more thing I would like to add here is, I came to know that they have deleted the data from their system which was the periodic backup of project, plan sheets, testing data, learning materials, software required to run this project, db backup file.

They left a single copy of project in their system, as far as I know and explained them in handbook also that any material you develop / download / use as a part of project is the property of company and you must not delete / copy / distribute / claim your rights / manipulate / disturb in any way. then isn't it very unprofessional and immature act. This is very concrete part to be considered while taking any action against them.

I m yet to handover the re-leaving docs to them, which means they will come at least once to me. And I m not interested in holding their docs, but off course in imposing penalty.

I don't have data transfer log but I m sure he has taken the data with him before deleting it from the system which is again unethical. because its a simple act of human that other party should suffer without me. and all those data he might have taken with him as usb lock policy is not yet implemented but data should not be theft is already explained to them.

Reference details I do have if you want it to analyze, I used data recovery tool and found 17.5GB of imp data is deleted from system, which includes periodic backup, application software, various level of source code, libraries dlls, product source code, and many more.

How will you justify this act then, I can understand you won't believe it immediately... but its true and I have already written a mail informing the same to the concerned person, I do have system log data as well. Here I m attaching the log file you can just check. 08/19/2013 he has deleted plenty of information from our system. now please tell me that its companies fault by allowing the access to it.

to understand the doc - please search/ find '08/19/2013' and check the respective time with the act and you can understand that its intentional act.

Now, Please guide me on this also.

and I understand that my previous comments to Raj Kumar may have dishonored him but it was not the intention, actual intention was to gain your attention to my aspect / vision.

Sorry if hurt you.. please let me have your inputs too on this data theft

Thanks
Hello Liza,

Like I already mentioned, you DON'T have to forget what the employees did.

The very reason for my suggesting to refer these guys to your Company lawyer was this very fact: Data theft & deletion of data. Lawyers have a better way of handling such issues--like the Saying goes: 'Even a small snake needs to be hit with a big stick'.

And coming to such incidents, you can rest assured that these are not uncommon in the IT industry--so your experience is not unique. Looking back, there's a distinct possibility that at least some of the situations you mentioned COULD be DELIBERATE & NOT accidental. However, like I mentioned earlier, assign someone else [your Company lawyer was just a suggestion--IF you have others who can act tough with your employees, that should be enough too] to handle the guys & you focus on the client & on how to complete the project.

Though not very pertinent, just thought you should know. MANY of the active CiteHR members are technical professionals who take a very keen interest in Human Relations aspects of an organization [some of them being practicing HR professionals too]--so you can be sure to find suggestions that always have the grounding in technical aspects too.

All the Best.

Rgds,

TS
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