A colleague of mine, Schalk Klee, has a couple of posts of interest (Schalk’s blog is here). I had forgotten to link to his original post on saying “No” as a PM (here), so his follow up post on when and how to say “No” (here) was an appreciated reminder. Schalk highlights the balance that must be struck:
We all know that good scope management and customer focus are both critical success factors for value adding projects and in a professional service environment there is always the sales focus as well. How do I balance this?
This is where I believe the art of making a deal comes into play. This is a skill that a “good” project manager has to develop. How do I give my client what they want without putting myself into a worse position? Creative thinking, negotiation tactics and customer focus all need to be combined.
Deal-making and negotiation skills are not emphasized enough in most PM career paths; frankly, I could stand brushing up on them myself!