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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Negotiating with Minimal Conflict

In the book "Field Guide to Project Management" by David I Cleland, there is a discussion on page 282 about "Conflict in Negotiations". As the book mentions, PMI (the Project Management Institute) outlines eight project management functions that can be a source of conflict.

To paraphrase from the book, the areas are:

Scope: what is to be done (results, products, services)

Quality: what measures, what steps to be taken

Cost: financial outcomes, savings, ROI

Time: deadlines, resources, when complete

Risk: what risks are accepted, avoided, deflected

Human Resources: what resources, what skills, availability, competency

Contract/Procurement: cost, requirements/specifications, when, how, what, where

Communications: when, how, to whom, contains what

There are several ways to approach handling conflict (see the Guide to the PMBOK), however the important point to keep in mind is we must confront the issue(s) and work with the individuals or groups to come to a win/win outcome.

Unresolved conflict can often lead to bitterness and resentment, which can linger and rise up later to sabotage your project. 

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