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Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools by Karl E Wiegers

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Negotiating Commitments

Negotiations are in order whenever there’s a gap between the schedule or functionality project stakeholders demand and your best prediction of the future as embodied in project estimates. Plan to engage in good-faith negotiations with customers, senior managers, and project team members about achievable commitments. Principled negotiation, a method to strive for mutually acceptable agreements, involves four key precepts (Fisher, Ury, and Patton 1992):

  • Separate the people from the problem

  • Focus on interests, not positions

  • Invent options for mutual gain

  • Insist on using objective criteria

Separate the People from the Problem

Negotiation is difficult when emotions get in the way. It’s also hard to negotiate with individuals who wield ...

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