Project Management Institute

Fork in the Road

Not All Disagreements are Created Equal; Project Managers Must Learn When to Push Ahead and When to Push Back

Scuffle, settle or surrender? That's the choice Farhan Shamim, PMP, faced last year while he oversaw a program to rebuild 26 schools affected by severe flooding in Pakistan. The program was going just fine—until the sponsor made a new request: modify the plans so each school could accommodate wheelchairs and students with other disabilities. The scope change was rooted in the best intentions, but Mr. Shamim, program manager, Comprehensive Health and Education Forum International, Islamabad, Pakistan, knew it was time to fight back. So he pressed pause and entered into a dispute that took six months to settle.
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