Negotiation and Project Management
What You Learn From Rescue the Problem Project
Rescue the Problem Project
by Todd C. Williams
Todd's first book delivers twenty-five years of project rescue experience. Unlike other books on the subject, Rescue the Problem Project focuses on the process to rescue the project. This is the critical few weeks that transform a failing project to a successful project. Other processes blindly layer processes on top of a project without finding the cause of the failure. Rescue the Problem Project focuses on root cause analysis to determine the source of problems and solve them once and for all.
The book starts by discussing the biggest hurdle in rescuing a project—realization that there is a problem—and proceeds through detailed discussion of the four-step process to recover them—audit, analysis, negotiate, and execute. In addition, it includes a complete discussion of four key processes to prevent failure.
People fail to realize how many actions in personal and profession lives require negotiation. Whether managing contracts, running a project, or working on a raise, negotiation is a daily task. Implementing a process around negotiation and understanding the techniques for convincing your “buyer” of the need are critical in maximizing your chances for success. The planning that a process provides ensures collecting the correct information for preparing and proposing the new idea.
Negotiation is at the heart of every recovery. Once the problems are determined, you must get everyone to concur on the solution. Achieving agreement, however, is inextricably bound to culture—from Asia's polite bows and constant "yeses," to the fist pounding demands of the Middle East. The distinction hit me in back-to-back projects. Culture shock abound. Little did I know, I would find solace and guidance in a favorite Monty Python flick.
Daily, we are involved in two acts—developing and following process and negotiating with stakeholders. We cannot escape them; they are part of the project management experience. Processes are required to maintain consistency, accuracy, and abide by regulations. Negotiation is required to create a valuable solution that meets the triple constraints.
To deal with the reality of business, you need a toolbox of techniques that can address the needs of the people who supply and consume information and the competing interests of stakeholders.
Leadership is more than leading the people reporting to you. Too often, you need to lead people over which you lack any authority. The absence of hierarchical advantage adds a challenge, but is ideal training on how to deal with managers, customers, and difficult people. The key is making them feel the direction chosen is theirs. One of the best methods of doing this is storytelling.
The four steps to bring a project back from red. They are:
- Project Audit;
- Data Analysis;
- Solution Negotiation;
- Plan Execution.
Like any recovery, be it twelve-step or four-step, it goes nowhere without realization of the problem. Step zero is acknowledging the failure. Without this step, the problems and subsequent resolutions will not have full recognition and the project recovery will fail due to the lack of management support. With realization, the recovery process has meaning.
With the coming of 2011, it is time to reflect on our past and contemplate the future. We think about our families, our friends, our successes and failures; we think about our jobs, our professions, and the world of possibilities. We must reaffirm our ship's direction, stay the course, make corrections, or find a new destination. As project managers, we must look at the recent changes in the discipline and translate those into a plan for our professional development—a plan that meets our needs and the needs of the discipline.
Businesses exist to make money. To improve operations they create various initiatives with promises of improving the bottom line. Projects, though, cost money. They do not make a profit. The dichotomy in a strapped economy to spend savings on projects to improve future profits usually results in the conservation of cash. Many an argument has been had over whether it is better to run improvement projects, burning precious cash and heading off the competition, or taking the traditional approach and wait for times with better cash flow. Subsequent to 2008's financial folly, it is well known that most companies sat on their reserves and waited. That action may have some unintended consequences that are in the midst of surfacing.
|Geoffrey A. Moore
To be a great project manager, you need to understand business. Your job is applying change to improve an organization, you had better understand why some changes and some leaders can create a metric differ to a company.
|Noah J. Goldstein Ph.D., Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D.
Project managers spend 90% of their time trying to persuade people to do something be it stakeholders, executives, end users, or the project team. They spend very little time learning how to do it better. Yes! gives you fifty ways to change your message and help you persuade anyone to do anything (well, almost). You can also get our excel spreadsheet that helps you focus on the right tools for what ever you are trying to do.
New York Times bestselling introduction of fifty scientifically proven techniques for increasing your persuasive powers in business and life.
Small changes can make a big difference in your powers of persuasion.