How to negotiate for a project’s schedule and timelines

Negotiation is a necessary part of almost every aspect of a project. This includes defining scope and time requirements, resource allocation, cost and budget. Negotiation can be done one-on-one or with a group. This is an important skill for project managers to master and to be able to set realistic expectations about project risk and time in both the best and worst cases.
Do your homework
Project managers are the best judges of the time it takes to complete different phases of a project within a given budget and resource. It is his responsibility to ensure clients, sponsors, as well as other stakeholders, are fully informed about the realities of project estimation.
The following are some of the things you should know
There are possible trade-offs between cost, scope, quality, time, and quality, as well as the impact of changing one constraint over another.
Potential risks and additional budget required to implement a risk response strategy
If you are a technical manager of a project, it is a good idea to meet with any expert or stakeholder to gain a better understanding of the project.
It must be up-to-date with the most recent design and technology for your project. Is it compatible with the requirements? What is the current user base? If so, how does it affect the project (example: low speed due to an increase in load).
Know your limits and control. Are there any regulatory restrictions or permits that may be required? It is important to clearly outline the waiting time and the possibility of delays that are not under your control.
Consider the complexity of the project. This will allow you to negotiate for the time and effort needed to manage that complexity.
Some tips for negotiation
Focus on your current project, not theories from others. Instead, focus on the facts and figures and make decisions based on them.
Do not be influenced by influential stakeholders and make your decision with excitement. Consider the potential consequences of unmet expectations. At the end of the day, it would be you who would be responsible to him.
Be open to the possibility of making changes later. Please be careful when defining the scope. Make sure the scope of work is clearly defined and that you have enough budget
Also, check your change approval process and the strength of your change control board.
You can prioritize tasks in a time-efficient manner. Also, you can check the impact of fast tracking and crashing on the time taken. This will help to reduce the time it takes to complete the task.
Document all possible risks and check that the client is comfortable with them. Are the potential consequences being borne by the client to be held accountable?
Look through past similar projects’ lessons learned documents and compare the changes in technology and organizational maturity between the two projects.
Your suggestion might be: It is better to deliver a high-quality product in extra time than to deliver a low-quality product in time.
Do not forget to list all external dependencies and their effect on your project.
Finally, make a realistic decision based on all of your information. Remember that the negotiation goal is to create a plan that is likely to be implemented to meet realistic expectations. A well-written plan and all supporting documents are required for every negotiation.