Negotiation: A Key Skill for Project Success

Syed is an experienced project manager with more than 14 years of ICT experience, successfully delivering high-value key projects across all domains of ICT services.

In our day-to-day work, we often encounter various kinds of conflict that might have a direct impact on project outcomes. With negotiation skills, project and program managers can resolve these conflicts to ensure success is achieved with minimal risk to project objectives. Negotiation has helped resolve various issues in projects, organizations and the business domain. In some cases, negotiation fails—or takes a long time to work. No matter what the end result, one thing we always need to bear in mind is that when you negotiate, there is time and effort involved that is quantified into cost that adds to the baseline.

In this article, I will introduce some key concepts of negotiation, show why negotiations play a critical role and share how we can improve our negotiation skills so that we create a win-win situation for our projects and business issues.

In their book Getting to Yes, Fisher, Ury and Patton define negotiation as a basic means of getting what you want from others. It is back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some shared interests—and others that are opposed. The emphasis is on striking the balance that can create a win-win situation for the negotiating parties (often in negotiation, we see that the negotiating parties are sensitive to their priorities or interests).

Every negotiation has to …

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"Nearly every great advance in science arises from a crisis in the old theory, through an endeavor to find a way out of the difficulties created. We must examine old ideas, old theories, although they belong to the past, for this is the only way to understand the importance of the new ones and the extent of their validity."

- Albert Einstein

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