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Situation when a team member having emergency work scheduled to him took Emergency leave

 
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Hi,

I have been asked the following question in an interview . I would like to discuss this with you guys

The question is

you are a team leader ... if one of your team members , who has been assigned a high priority work took an emergency leave...what will you do ( All other team members have their own work schedled to them). will you do all the work yourself?


My answer was.... I will analyse works of each team member and will put the low priority work on-hold and give this work to him.


What is the ideal answer to this?
 
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That seems like a reasonably good answer to me. Of course given the information you have, you don't know whether you could do the emergency work yourself or not. So your real-life actions would depend on whether you were capable of picking up the absent member's work or not. Or perhaps you could, but you might do a bad job of it because you haven't looked at that part of the code for a couple of years. There's all kinds of possibilities which the question doesn't allow you to go into. So if you don't want to go with some form of "It depends" then your answer is as good as any.
 
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Nah. Just like him take the rap and have him in the appraisals

Distributing the work load or re-delegating it sound like logical options. Of course it would be presumed the new assignee (either yourself or some other team member is capable of executing it). If this was an interview question, then it was probably asked with an intention of gauging your organizational and managerial skills.
Projected time lines always should have a safety buffer period to handle such kind of situations. Unfortunately, many people forget the fact that developers are human beings with human emotions and human problems.
 
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Unfortunately, many people forget the fact that developers are human beings with human emotions and human problems.



hear hear !
 
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Deepak Bala wrote:

Unfortunately, many people forget the fact that developers are human beings with human emotions and human problems.



hear hear !



Agree++. And another issue with giving the "emergency high priority" project to the "low priority" employee is that there may have been a reason why he/she was given the low priority project. Maybe this person is new. Maybe this person is a low producer. Maybe this person don't work well with stress. etc. etc. The answer provided assumes that all the developers are interchangeble.

Henry
 
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At our job we encounter these kind of situations very often when someone or other team member goes on leave (sick leave/emergency leave/fake sick leaves etc),

Following is the situation i faced as a team lead :
I request readers to suggest what went wrong in my case and what i could have done as a lead:

1. a developer wanted to proceed on planned leave due to some medical reasons for his family member
2. bypasses me and approaches pm for leaves.
3. pm does not want to take any decision by himself
4. pm invites me and team member for a discussion, asks me if we could deliver the project without him in the same amount of time ( PM was trying to shoot team member by putting gun on my shoulder, PM himself not willing to give him leaves but wanted me to oppose his leaves thereby remain as good figure in his eyes..)
5. I understood his game plan, i ask for a backup resource (knowing that backup would itself take time to become productive),
PM refuses for a backup.
6. i refuse for delivering in the same time period at the same time, but agreeing to allow leaves to team member
7. i propose to put in extra hours every day and on weekends, but refrained from committing on behalf of other team members
8. PM asks team member to cut short his leave or do extra work till he is in office,
9. team member expresses displeasure, leaves meeting room, approaches HR and finally gets leave approved.
10. matter was reported to client, client was unhappy due to proposed delay, matter reported to Senior management who were also unhappy but didn't do anything to solve the issue.
11. other team members and me were pressurized to deliver within time.
12. team member returns back from leave, had another job offer ready in hand, resigns from job


*Note1* lead(me) was not authorized to approve any leaves of team members, only PM was authorized to approve.
*Note2* lead(me) was toothless, was not authorized/ or consulted in performance ratings of team members.
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