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