Yourdon Negotiating Games

High Level Planning has to be done during the initiating phase of the project.

Is this planning supposed to be ‘draft’?

Just in the moment you show this schedule, you can find yourself negotiating the project schedule with management. As you are at the beginning of a project, you probably still don’t have all requirements and you are not in position to define it properly.

Nevertheless, some stakeholders are going to wait for a final planning that would be according to the initial one. And it’s in this case when you can fall in some ridiculous negotiating games if you don’t explain clearly what means this draft schedule.

Very interesting how of some these games have been identified by Ed Yourdon.

Doubling and Adding Some
The project manager comes up with an estimate for the schedule and then doubles it. For good measure, a few extra weeks or months are then added in.

Reverse Doubling
Most managers are aware of the “doubling and adding some” game. They take the initial estimates from project managers and immediately cut them in half.

Spanish Inquisition
In this game, the project manager walks into a meeting unaware that he will be asked to provide management with an on-the-spot, instant estimate. Usually, the schedule has already been determined and the unwitting project manager is coerced into accepting it. When outsourcing software, competitors often are encouraged to match or beat the competitor’s

Low Bid
schedule in order to win the contract. Of course, the competitor’s schedule is not realistic, so the project manager must agree to match someone else’s folly in order to get the contract.

“Guess the number I’m thinking of…”
Management has decided what an “acceptable” figure is for the schedule but doesn’t reveal it. The project manager meets with management and attempts to guess what it is by starting with a realistic estimate and whittling it down until it reaches management’s ”acceptable” figure.

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