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  • FIRST POST
    • ohhellosailor
    • By ohhellosailor 14th Mar 18, 9:48 AM
    • 58Posts
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    ohhellosailor
    Change to job description without consultation
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 18, 9:48 AM
    Change to job description without consultation 14th Mar 18 at 9:48 AM
    Hi - it would be great to get some impartial advice. I'll keep it as short as possible.

    I'm a Project Manager on a two-year fixed term contract, I am currently nine months in. During my personal development review (PDR) I was told there would be a change to my job.

    Sidebar: On the PDR guidance provided by HR it states that "change, good or bad, should not be brought up in the PDR".

    My boss told me that someone on a grad scheme would be coming in to take over one of my projects for six months (I look after two) and I may or may not pick it up after they leave. I would then be "freed up" to work on another project. This other project is not an organisational priority, I see it as a 'nice to have' project which is low-risk and low-budget. This would be a 50% change to my job description.

    The reason given for this change is that "it's a good opportunity for the grad and the organisation, and that my project is the most contained and easiest to give them". However, my boss and I have clashed somewhat on the approach/direction of this project and when I asked if that was the reason why, my boss replied "partly".

    Sidebar: At no point as there been an informal or formal discussion with my manager or anyone else about my management of this project. Or any prior mention that I wouldn't be leading on this for the whole duration of my time at the organisation.

    I have informally spoken to HR, who advised me to informally speak to my boss again. This was not a great conversation and our relationship has now totally broken down (he had a very passive aggressive attitude, was very "surprised" that I was "upset", and I had to bring the conversation to a close early when he said "it's your decision if you want to leave" - hello constructive dismissal). In conclusion, my boss said that there is no room for negotiation and the grad is coming in, things are changing and I have to like it or leave.

    I applied for the job primarily so I can work on the project that's being taken away, so obviously I'm very frustrated and feel a bit stuck.

    There's two issues 1) how I was told - no consultation, no for-warning and in my PDR 2) the job change.

    Thinking my next step is that I continue with the project I have left, and then ask for a new job description to be written. I can then decide whether or not to take the 'new job' which will have to have the same pay, or leave (hopefully with some kind of settlement). Alongside this I will also be putting in a formal grievance towards my line manager as I do not feel I should just lie down and accept this, even though I know my project has been lost.

    I'm missing out a bit off stuff so this doesn't turn out to be an essay, but these are all the key details. I am not part of a union, but have been given a bit of unofficial advice from a rep.

    Any advice about my next steps would be great, thank you.
    SSDGM!

    House deposit: 5,250/20,000 (my half)
Page 1
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Mar 18, 10:05 AM
    • 32,192 Posts
    • 19,351 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:05 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:05 AM
    This stood out for me.

    ......
    My boss told me that someone on a grad scheme would be coming in to take over one of my projects for six months (I look after two) and I may or may not pick it up after they leave
    ......
    The reason given for this change is that "it's a good opportunity for the grad and the organisation, and that my project is the most contained and easiest to give them". However, my boss and I have clashed somewhat on the approach/direction of this project and when I asked if that was the reason why, my boss replied "partly".

    Sidebar: At no point as there been an informal or formal discussion with my manager or anyone else about my management of this project. Or any prior mention that I wouldn't be leading on this for the whole duration of my time at the organisation.
    ......
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    What is not clear here is if you are aware there are issues with this project.

    if this has come as a big surprise then that suggests you may not really be on top of of everything that is going on with this project.
    • ohhellosailor
    • By ohhellosailor 14th Mar 18, 10:15 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 3,487 Thanks
    ohhellosailor
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:15 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:15 AM
    Well, my boss and I would have discussions about the approach but we had the same discussions about the other project. For which I received praise for in my PDR.

    So yeah, it came as a massive surprise.

    Before I arrived my boss was doing my job and already had a solution in mind and I'm questioning that solution as we don't have the user research to back it up.
    SSDGM!

    House deposit: 5,250/20,000 (my half)
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Mar 18, 10:29 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:29 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:29 AM
    You're 9 months in, just do as you're told.


    Grad scheme candidates very often take priority.
    • ohhellosailor
    • By ohhellosailor 14th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 3,487 Thanks
    ohhellosailor
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    You're 9 months in, just do as you're told.


    Grad scheme candidates very often take priority.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    I was expecting this/unhelpful comments. No, I'm not going to just 'do as I'm told'. I'm a human with wants, needs, feelings, career goals, etc. I'm not a robot.
    SSDGM!

    House deposit: 5,250/20,000 (my half)
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 14th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    • 3,199 Posts
    • 6,335 Thanks
    Smodlet
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    Well, my boss and I would have discussions about the approach but we had the same discussions about the other project. For which I received praise for in my PDR.

    So yeah, it came as a massive surprise.

    Before I arrived my boss was doing my job and already had a solution in mind and I'm questioning that solution as we don't have the user research to back it up.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor

    There, I think, is the crux of the matter, in a nutshell. You are questioning your boss' judgement. Not really a recipe for a harmonious relationship, especially after so short a time in the job, is it?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:40 AM
    I was expecting this/unhelpful comments. No, I'm not going to just 'do as I'm told'. I'm a human with wants, needs, feelings, career goals, etc. I'm not a robot.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    And your employer is a business with wants and needs - if you aren't fulfilling those, someone else will.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 14th Mar 18, 10:44 AM
    • 3,497 Posts
    • 2,613 Thanks
    marlot
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:44 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:44 AM
    I'm surprised your job description mentions specific projects. Whenever I've employed a project manager, the role description is to manage one or more (unspecified) projects.

    I'd have taken a different tack, and offered to manage or mentor the grad. But I guess that's not open to you now? Has your relationship with your boss broken down beyond repair, do you think? Are there project management roles elsewhere in the organisation where you could transfer to?

    You mention that you got praise for the other project. Are you able to sit down with your boss and agree what he sees you doing well/vs not so well?
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 14th Mar 18, 10:45 AM
    • 5,167 Posts
    • 8,415 Thanks
    Gavin83
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:45 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 10:45 AM
    Does your job description state the projects you'll be working on, or does it merely just state 'will be required to work on projects?'

    It doesn't really matter anyway, you've no right to work on certain projects. They can dismiss you for this should they so wish, you've no rights for constructive dismissal as you've been employed less than two years. I'd suggest either doing it the way the boss requests or find another job.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 14th Mar 18, 10:57 AM
    • 3,497 Posts
    • 2,613 Thanks
    marlot
    ...I'm a human with wants, needs, feelings, career goals, etc. I'm not a robot.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    Part of project management is finding win:win outcomes. Another part is stakeholder management.

    You've had a set back. Surely it's not the first in your career? I get that your ego is a bit bruised, but you need to work out what you want to do next.

    ...hello constructive dismissal...
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    ...I am currently nine months in...
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    Goodbye constructive dismissal. You need 2 years!
    Last edited by marlot; 14-03-2018 at 11:20 AM.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Mar 18, 11:09 AM
    • 5,017 Posts
    • 5,442 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    I don't see how you come to the conclusion that your job description has been changed. You are employed as a Project Manager and you will continue to be a Project Manager. Unless it is actually written into your contract that you will be managing specific projects for the period of your employment, I really don't see that you have any case. The main reason put forward for passing one of your projects on to the graduate seems to be perfectly valid.
    • AstroTurtle
    • By AstroTurtle 14th Mar 18, 11:32 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    AstroTurtle

    "it's your decision if you want to leave" - hello constructive dismissal. In conclusion, my boss said that there is no room for negotiation and the grad is coming in, things are changing and I have to like it or leave.
    .
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor

    People get redeployed in the workplace all the time.
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 14th Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • 2,255 Posts
    • 3,733 Thanks
    k3lvc
    I was expecting this/unhelpful comments. No, I'm not going to just 'do as I'm told'. I'm a human with wants, needs, feelings, career goals, etc. I'm not a robot.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor

    You want platitudes or reality/honesty ? You're under 2yrs so limited rights (and certainly not constructive dismissal) and all your other wants/needs etc come way down the heirarchy for the business who's employing you.


    In your situation I'd be looking to make myself indispensable and build some bridges - otherwise you might not make it to 2yrs
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 14th Mar 18, 11:57 AM
    • 8,526 Posts
    • 6,302 Thanks
    pmduk
    If your contract doesn't have a catch-all phrase such as and any other duties as may reasonably be required" I'll be amazed.
    Last edited by pmduk; 14-03-2018 at 12:09 PM.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 14th Mar 18, 11:58 AM
    • 8,526 Posts
    • 6,302 Thanks
    pmduk
    No, I'm not going to just 'do as I'm told'. I'm a human with wants, needs, feelings, career goals, etc. I'm not a robot.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    You are a human, but you are an employee and subject to the employer's direction. Your wants and needs are for your own time, I'm afraid.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 14th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
    • 3,199 Posts
    • 6,335 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Is this your first job? It sounds as if it is. I understand you felt "ownership" of this project but the fact remains it is not your property. You are employed to do a job, not to pick and choose which parts of it you want to do.

    Use this as a learning experience and, as has already been said more than once, decide what you want to achieve. Do you want to stay in your current position or leave? Either way, building some bridges and acting in a professional manner will stand you in far better stead than spitting the dummy because you are not getting your own way.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Mar 18, 12:04 PM
    • 32,192 Posts
    • 19,351 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Well, my boss and I would have discussions about the approach but we had the same discussions about the other project. For which I received praise for in my PDR.

    So yeah, it came as a massive surprise.

    Before I arrived my boss was doing my job and already had a solution in mind and I'm questioning that solution as we don't have the user research to back it up.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    I can only speculate you have read the situation wrong on that project and not managed the expectations of the stakeholders quite as well as you could to get them on your side you are being moved away.

    Unless you are in a position to win a battle where your pecking order with the bosses higher up and the stakeholders it may be time to back off on this one.

    Then it is back to this statement.

    My boss told me that someone on a grad scheme would be coming in to take over one of my projects for six months (I look after two) and I may or may not pick it up after they leave.
    What happens when this grad leaves and the project is a mess you need to position yourself to not become the scapegoat and having to pick up the pieces.

    Based on the limited info I would run with the project you get left with.

    Use that to get yourself positioned better in the company as a "good" guy, improve your visibility to the higher ups and project stakeholders as the person that gets things done and done right on time to budget.

    The new project you say is

    This other project is not an organisational priority, I see it as a 'nice to have' project which is low-risk and low-budget.
    I would look for any opportunity to make the best from that, there must be some point in doing it so are there options to make it more important and deliver more on the same budget, or even deliver under budget again this is about the stakeholders.

    if any of the stakeholders in these projects are high up then even for the "it's not that important one" don't drop the ball they will be watching.
    • ohhellosailor
    • By ohhellosailor 14th Mar 18, 12:39 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 3,487 Thanks
    ohhellosailor
    I don't see how you come to the conclusion that your job description has been changed. You are employed as a Project Manager and you will continue to be a Project Manager. Unless it is actually written into your contract that you will be managing specific projects for the period of your employment, I really don't see that you have any case. The main reason put forward for passing one of your projects on to the graduate seems to be perfectly valid.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Just to confirm, my JD and contract notes two specific projects.
    SSDGM!

    House deposit: 5,250/20,000 (my half)
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 14th Mar 18, 1:29 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 512 Thanks
    ssparks2003
    And no coverall statement such as "And other work as required"?
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 14th Mar 18, 1:32 PM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    Just to confirm, my JD and contract notes two specific projects.
    Originally posted by ohhellosailor
    Its not even remotely relevant, they simply give you notice if you don't do it
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