Listening to my impact/analysis explanation, the sponsor became agitated (which reminded me of the time he was project managing “I Will Build a Shelf in the Basement Myself”. Though under budget, the project was delayed for two months, because as a one-man project did not have enough resources.)
Because of my knowledge of “Emotional Intelligence” I noticed sudden warning signs of an emotional amygdala hijack attack on my sponsor, so I quickly applied the SOSS formula I had learned about at a PMI Chapter meeting. SOSS is: Stop, Oxygenate (breathe deeply), Strengthen Appreciation (think about lying on a beach, for example) and Seek (remove the amygdala attack trigger (i.e. have a break). My approach was to suggest he stop for a coffee, or even better, a cappuccino, accompanied by a piece of homemade cake I had previously baked for these critical moments.
My sponsor finally agreed that he would find a way to provide additional budget, which I suspected may eventually be re-distributed from my new shoes expenses. I quickly remembered a budget-related lesson learned during initiation phase of our company, when the cost of my “Shopping” project doubled. Only my sponsor’s double shift work for two months saved our company from bankruptcy.
After this successful negotiation I then had to negotiate with a-Boy-A to work harder to achieve a minimum of 80% average in his “Second semester” course load. This time, however, to break the news to my sponsor, I had to make sure that in addition to cappuccino and cake, home-made lasagna was served at our next status family meeting.
The meeting was success, the change order was signed and agreement was reached by all attendees that the project could continue, however, it would have to be closely monitored and all new milestones would have to be incorporated into the plan.
Azra Duric is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15 + years of experience in the IT industry; spanning the government, financial, education and other non-profit sectors. She has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and a Post Graduate Diploma in Office Systems and Data Communications from the University of Leicester, England. Since Azra moved to Canada in 1996 she has been working in a variety of government and non-profit sectors in Ontario and has been professionally working as a project manager for the last five years. She is a member of the PMI-CTT (Project Management Institute Canada Technology Triangle) Chapter and WIPMSIG (Women in Project Management Specific Interest Group). Azra lives in Guelph, Ontario and can be contacted at email@example.com. More information about Azra can be found on her blog http://azra-pmp.blogspot.com.