Keeping your boss informed of potential escalations and things that he/she should know about is an important part of your role. No one likes receiving bad news without a warning.
The earlier the warning, your boss can mentally be prepared, with no surprises and feel confident you have the situation under control. There are many steps to communicating well and in a timely manner.
Here are the 5 key steps and principles to landing the message without creating unnecessary action.
1. Email is good. Ensure the title is clear. FYI NO action required. Repeat after your Hi line in your email. This is important to ensure they dont take action. Also if you believe it may get escalated to them or above then put FYI No ACTION required. Escalation Highly probable.
2. Context: what is the issue and what is it causing concern. Be explicit but do not write more than a paragrath
3. What action has been taken already and the outcomes. This is to inform of steps taken, so your boss knows what you have tried already.
4. What steps you are taking at present and possible other steps if there are any. This is important for your boss and stakeholders to know what avenues you are exploring
5. Next Update will be in 24 hours. This is critical to keep your stakeholders informed and if they are in communication externally you are on the same page.
These can be done in one email, keep it short and concise. The earlier the warning the better prepared your stakeholders and boss can be. Don’t wait to crisis point. If you suspect the situation could blow up, go early and over communicate.
No boss enjoys surprises, this is a sure way to communicate timely information which means they are never caught off guard.
FYI NO ACTION REQUIRED. ESCALATION PROBABLE