Successful negotiations and APMP

Must read

IT Project Teams are STILL driving competitive advantage

IT Projects are perfectly placed to shape the future of business as we emerge from this pandemic Businesses need to be leaner and more innovative. It’s time for IT Project teams to say, “Hold our coffee, watch us do our thing” – this is our moment.

Embrace the change: Getting to grips with new IT systems

New IT systems for a growing business can be an exciting prospect and deliver many benefits, but how do you convince employees to embrace...

5 Skills Needed To Drive Future Projects

Why do projects fail? It's a question that invites a lot of interest and significant statistics. And there are no wrong answers here. Skills shortages...

Does a Project Manager Need PM Qualifications?

What makes a successful project manager is a combination of their academic abilities, experience and skills, both "soft" and "hard" skills i.e. communication skills...
Guest Author
This is a guest post by one of a number of contributors working in the project management field. We welcome high quality news items, blog posts and articles about project management. All content will be moderated before approval. Find out more about submitting your content here.

So you don’t think you have anything to do with negotiations? You think that’s a sales role, or something for a business development manager? Of course, you’re the project manager, so your job is to make things happen, not get involved with negotiating… right?

Wrong.

If you think about it, absolutely everything you do is about negotiations. You negotiate with your team when you plan who is doing what, particularly if someone is not keen on the role they have been given. You negotiate with contractors on delivery dates, costs and all manner of other issues. You have probably had to negotiate for additional budget, shifts in delivery dates and for extra staff hours during your time as a project manager too, so do you still think you don’t have anything to do with negotiations?

Negotiations for project managers

Most of the time, project managers don’t do what many people would think of as negotiations. There are no six figure sums involved most of the time, and it usually doesn’t involve arguing your case. You hope. But in simple terms there is a good deal of negotiation to be done in your day to day working life, often something as simple as a two person dialogue, but sometimes a little more complex.

Some of the best tips for conducting successful negotiations include:

  • Listen more than you talk
  • Be prepared for give and take. If you can identify something the other person wants, and have the means to give it to them, then a win win situation is afoot
  • Be real. Be human. Don’t try to outsmart the other person, as this will only put them on the defensive and increase the likelihood of a negative outcome for you
  • Don’t be in a rush. The other person may need time to think it over, and won’t appreciate feeling pressured into a decision. Even if you are up against it time-wise, don’t let it show
  • Think outside of the box – there’s usually more than one way to skin a cat (or to get what you both want from the situation)

Whether you are asking a team member to work some extra shifts to meet a deadline, requesting some additional resources from the administrative support team or negotiating a purchase of some expensive software for your project, the golden rule is to prepare for your negotiations well. Consider what you may have available to ‘trade’ the other person, and be realistic about your ask. Remember, sometimes a small agreement can be reached which partly solves your problem.

Where the APMP fits in

The APMP is the highly popular project management training framework from the APM, and with a strong focus on negotiation skills, this could be just the PM course to take if you feel yours could be improved. Negotiations are often dependent on your soft skills, such as your ability to communicate, to empathise, to relate and to build relationships, as much as they are on your ability to construct a well-reasoned case to support your requirement.

The APMP is one of only a few project management qualifications to put a strong emphasis on soft skills, as well as teaching a range of techniques and strategies to help you achieve excellence in project management.

- Advertisement -

More articles

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for tips on negotiation – always tough for PMs and doesn’t always come naturally. But being real and being human is very helpful advice – much better than trying to be something you are not or trying to outwit the other party – and we are all working to the same best end result of a great project outcome so we should consider the other side of every negotiation.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Project Management Lessons learnt from Covid Holiday Disruption

The very definition of Holiday (Noun - an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling), is an entirely flexible parameter to work within, so how do we adapt? And what Project Management lessons are to be learnt from this summer?

Project management for the ‘new normal’

We live in strange times. Who would have thought last year that 2020 would be the year of Covid-19, the year of...

Long-Term Strategies To Help Manage Your Team Remotely

The world has changed profoundly since COVID-19. No one saw a global pandemic coming but now isn’t the time to panic. Instead,...

10 Steps for Planning and Implementing a Successful Branding Project

Your brand is perhaps your most valuable asset. It defines your organisation’s reputation and visibility in the market. The strength of your...

4 Ways AI is Transforming How We Manage Projects

Project management is more than a simple planning of phases. It is an extremely dynamic function. Companies hire project managers to provide...