Negotiation in Project Management: The Utimate Guide

Negotiation in Project Management: The Utimate Guide

Introduction to Negotiation in Project Management: A Brief Guide

Negotiation in project management for a project manager is vital and challenging. In a project phase, one of the major focuses is to figure out standard processes for a successful project. Nothing runs without negotiation in business or in personal scenarios. Negotiation can be fun if the negotiating skills of a project manager set the foundation for a project's success.

The role of project managers as leaders, intermediaries, delegators, and negotiators comes with multi-tasking responsibilities within the given time. This is why the negotiation skills in project management for project managers to develop are highlighted even more. Half the time, they deal with conflict management, negotiation, and crisis or change.

Sometimes, negotiations get ugly or of less importance if the people fail to recognize the bargaining process and lack negotiation skills. 

This might be one reason for misunderstandings, conflicts, or project failures.

The results provided by the particular project are the outcome of the negotiation. In our brief guide to negotiation, we will breakdown down how it can help a project manager with their daily essential negotiations.

What is Negotiation in Project Management?

Negotiation in project management is a process of communication in which the parties aim to convey a message to the other party and influence each other in particular or multiple projects.

It can occur not only between two members but several members from two parties. The purpose of negotiating is to take up chances to see whether your interests are achievable and in the agreement or in contrast to an alternative. Negotiation is intuitive and negotiation skills in project management are spontaneous abilities.

The five phases of negotiation include,

Investigate

Determine Your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement)

Presentation

Bargaining

Closure

 

Guide to Negotiation in Project Management 1

 

The common negotiation techniques in project management vary depending on situations from the counterparties with support, empowerment, scope, budget, deadline, resources, profits, commitments, goals, missions, requirements, values, and others.

Importance of Negotiation Process for Project Managers

It is a myth that negotiation always brings conflicts. But, if the right people are involved in negotiations, nothing can be a better way to a great deal. To comply with, negotiation is a dynamic tool to weigh good interests and resolve conflicts.

Why is it even more crucial and relevant to have a good negotiation process? Every season and tenure, thousands of projects come with high and low factors. And there will be success and failure. The importance of negotiation in project management not only helps in resolving conflicts but makes pathways to create value in contracts and bring focus to the workplace. The project managers manage real issues that need to be negotiated with terms, conditions, dates, prices, numbers, and liabilities in a project which is very apt. Few of the below reasons why negotiation skills are relevant to project managers at current,

- Positional authority (legitimate authority) of project managers

- Team members reporting and organizational structures

- The idea of shared resources

- Having multicultural project teams 

- Global project teams

- The results of a dictatorial style and authoritarian leadership

- Suppliers relations and manufacturing partner's customers

What are the Negotiation Strategies in Project Management?

Below are the negotiation strategies in project management:

Distributive negotiation: Also known as ‘The Fixed Pie’. This strategy involves both the party's interests that are self-serving. For example; purchasing products or services like cars, houses, and devices.

Integrative negotiation: The win-win method to create a mutual interest and long-term relationship for both parties. This process involves some or a combination of developing values in concurrence with resolving issues.

Silence management

Risk management

Flattery

Deadline

Delay

What are the Common Issues During the Course of Project Management?

Enlisted below are common issues that can arise during the course of project management,

- Project charter

- Objectives to scope, cost, and schedule

- Changes to scope, cost, or schedule

- Release and acceptance

- Authority Boundaries

- Assignments, roles, and responsibilities

- Terms and conditions

- Resources

 

PMP certification training program

 

Top 7 Negotiation Skills for Project Managers

Most negotiations in project management can consume a long time to settle. It is never a surprise that it takes a few long evenings, weeks to several months until an agreeable settlement depending on the types of projects and services. But, this does not mean that negotiation can be shorter too by recognizing the short and long-term goals in a project cycle.

 

Guide to Negotiation in Project Management 2

 

We have listed below a few of the top negotiation skills for project managers that might help you in your project,

 

Study, practice, and analyze:

It is amazing that over time, the manager's role is versatile, and the ability to develop these skills by studying, practicing, and analyzing the matter of the subject. You see, most successful projects become successful because the bargaining position for the deal is recognized. So, practicing after studying is a must as negotiation multiplies more in the situation. Therefore, it will help to analyze the situation beforehand and screen your approach to how to deal with that moment, or in similar scenarios next time.

 

Maintaining a preparation phase:

Preparation is an unskippable element before jumping into negotiations. A good negotiation stands a better chance to pull off the best outcome. And that comes by cultivating effort into your preparation for negotiation.

For instance; if there is a meeting scheduled with the project stakeholders, the project managers should study and think beforehand about what to gain value from the agreement with the stakeholders and their expectations and needs. It does give an idea about what the information is content for and how the process influences it.

This way, it builds a clear understanding of discussions and helps to keep responsive before the meeting. In this case, it is to note that both parties should agree on common terms without forcing them to accept key points.

 

Self-Confidence

Confidence at work goes a long way to becoming an effective project manager. Likewise, negotiating could demand a lot of confidence in what they want to achieve through their goals.

Project managers with a lack of self-confidence can develop this skill by monitoring the success and risk factors, building motivation, and taking support from the team members and stakeholders.

 

Communication Skills

In the negotiation step, communication is a two-way process. Communication is not only a component but ensures that everyone involved in a project is on the same project goals and what to expect from the outcome.

The parties should reciprocate to each other in alignment with the same goals or closely similar values, build trust, and bring peaceful or enjoyable agreement that interests the particular project.

 

The Psychological Impact

Having empathy is an important characteristic to develop as a project manager in any field. This skill also puts you in a frame of mind to read the other person and their level of competence or creativity and their needs.

This way, you can cultivate effort from your end and grab good chances of projects being a success.

 

Emotional Management

Managing emotions with the team or its members could refrain from the worst exposure to people or conflict.

This will eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding, and prepare how to react in conflict situations and difficult or embarrassing scenarios. This will enable project managers to create a positive working environment despite the circumstances.

 

Patience

This is a vital skill for every project manager, especially during the phases of the negotiation. A lack of good patience can easily break down and crush the team.

Negotiation is Not Compromising

Everything is negotiable whether it is in a personal or professional context. Apart from the critical questioning skills that project managers have, they need to come up with an original plan before beginning to negotiate. 

Over developing multiple skills with time, a negotiator must be patient, confident, empathetic, and know the project management negotiation techniques. For example: being aware of nonverbal communication, or knowing the possible substitutes to a negotiated settlement “BATNA”.

The right negotiators know when to start, stop and keep the bottom line intact during the briefings and conversations. 

Negotiating project scope for successful project management is even crucial and project managers are in high demand every year. Sprintzeal’s PMP Certification Training Course for project management field offered by PMI - Project Management Institute. 

To get full details about diverse certification training, chat with our course expert or drop your query at Click Here and our support team will reach you.

Explore other career making courses offered by Sprintzeal and find the certification that benefits your career.

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Nchumbeni Yanthan

Nchumbeni Yanthan

Nchumbeni is a content writer who creates easy-to-read educational blogs, articles, varying client request, and social media content helping millions of learners meet their career goals.

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