Project negotiation is an area of project management that not everyone is comfortable with. If you haven’t got a lot of experience in striking deals and negotiating then this might be something that fills you with dread.
Having said that, there is no reason to believe that you can’t learn how to negotiate effectively in order to run a smoother project and get better collaboation .
The very first point to bear in mind is around the need to stay cool at all times. Some people take negotiating personally and get upset with the other people but this really isn’t a professional or productive approach.
Treat it as strictly a business matter and keep your cool if you start to feel that the other person is taking it too personally. At the end of the day, everyone involved in the project negotiation is looking for a happy and successful project, aren’t they?
If things are getting too heated then try taking a break and then attempting again later on. After all, maybe you are the problem and you need to think things over a bit more.
Understand the Other Person’s Point of View
When you become a fully qualified PRINCE2 project manager you need to learn a lot of skills that you have maybe never used before. One of these is the way in which you have to understand the other person’s point of view.
This might seem simple but when you are caught up in a tough project it can be extremely difficult to only focus on what you need. Try taking a step back and looking at it from the opposite point of view.
What is best for you and your team might not necessarily be best for the others who are involved in the project.
Don’t Force It
Trying to force through a project negotiation can result in bad news. It can be difficult to show patience when you are desperate to reach an agreement but sometimes there is simply no other way to do things.
The first step to doing this right is to start the negotiating in plenty of time, so that you aren’t under undue pressure to reach an agreement very quickly. If time is on your side then you will feel more relaxed about the whole thing.
After this, you don’t want to feel that the people you are negotiating with are under a lot of pressure. Try and keep it light and relaxed so that everyone is comfortable.
Firm but Fair Project Negotiation
Finding the perfect balance between firmness and fairness is the toughest part of project negotiation for a PRINCE2 certified project manager. You certainly don’t want to agree to anything that makes life impossible for your team but you don’t want to force something unwanted on your stakeholders either.
If everyone who is involved in the negotiating comes in with a firm but fair attitude then life is going to be a lot easier and the project is going to be a lot more enjoyable as well.
You shouldn’t be afraid of the project negotiation phase but you shouldn’t take it for granted and dive in unprepared either.