Ten Guidelines for Improving Influence on Unpleasant Tasks

The following ten guidelines are for increasing effectiveness in communicating about an unpleasant task. These are real-world guidelines based on observing and coaching dozens of experienced project managers.

  1. Do your homework, particularly if the unpleasant task involves dates or cost. Probably the worst unpleasant task (or at least the most frequent) is when a project manager confronts an executive or customer with the data that a project due date is late or unachievable. When you use good project scheduling practices and adjust estimates for quantitative and scheduled risk, you can build a sound, irrefutable case for establishing a realistic completion date. Many executives or customers ...

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