Negotiating realistic estimates
Negotiating realistic estimates is one of the project manager's most daunting tasks; this article provides several recommendations for dealing with tight deadlines and budgets. There is nothing wrong with aggressive deadlines as long as they are realistic. The temptation to opt for a fast and cheap solution should be resisted, as should the tendency to see situations in terms of either/or outcomes. The article provides a list of project success characteristics, based on an informal survey of project professionals and stakeholders. Project managers need to hone their negotiating skills, be adaptable to changing conditions, and always take time to plan. The schedule/budget negotiation algorithm is used as the basis for balancing the tradeoffs in product, cost, and time, tradeoffs that should be highlighted when negotiating with the client so that there are no surprises.