In the archetype adversarial negotiation, the parties reveal just as many details as required to get the bargain washed. Each side hopes that the information asymmetry volition piece of work in their favor. Once the other side is nether contract, there’ll be time enough for them to discover the ugly truths, skeletons in the closet, misunderstandings well-nigh the contract, and then on.
Of course, this means that the vendors accept an incentive to pad the bids to business relationship for “unknown unknowns” and utilize weasel words in the statement of piece of work so that deliverables have a articulate-cut boundary. And it means that the purchaser has an incentive to play dumb then they tin get the most for their money.
How to cull the correct software vendor
While economists would likely discuss this role-playing using Game Theory, I’m going to take it a step further by examining this behavior in the low-cal of Game
The Price is Right!
This is the evidence where you lot effort to find to the proper price for diverse products, weird appliances and exotic vacations that you lot wouldn’t necessarily want to buy if given the choice. Only since that’s all that you’re shown, you still take to guess the price to win. This seems to be the favorite negotiating tactic in software project bidding, particularly when the requirements document has been drafted by an out-of-impact committee or industry analyst. The gotcha? Past focusing on price, you’re not focusing on delivered business value.
Let’s Make a Deal.
If you remember Monty Hall and the lovely Ballad Merrill (OK, you don’t), yous’ll remember all the strange tradeoffs you accept to make to stand a chance in this game. The fundamental to this show is that you don’t know what yous’re trading
just what you already have. This is a frequent negotiating tactic amidst clients who have decided that they don’t similar their current consultant, only they can’t put their finger on
The gotcha? The infamous Zonk – in short, a crummy prize – where your project faces transition costs and learning curve issues with no clear benefit.
The dingy secrets of project management revealed
Are you lot Smarter than a 5th
This is the game show where the adults are so caught upwards in the complexities of developed life that they get tripped upward by kids who have unsullied noesis, recently acquired. And in negotiations, this is the 1 where the client is more focused on politics, prestige and appearances during the sales cycle than such simple, obvious things every bit who will be doing the work, and what their actual capabilities are. While information technology’south admittedly true that consultants must have flexibility in project staffing, information technology’s the individuals who’ll make the project successful. A fifth grader would ask to interview those individuals before signing the deal, and insist upon a clause limiting swap-outs during the project.
This is the newest game show on this listing, simply the gaming principle is as old every bit negotiations themselves. It’s called the RFI/RFQ procedure, a favorite of big clients who seem to go far near a science experiment with their 100+ page tomes. Instead of doing their own inquiry, they ask vendors to answer hundreds of out-of-context questions, where – as “Who’s Line is It Anyhow” says – the answers don’t affair and nobody’southward keeping score. Typically, the RFI/RFQ cycle is used only to justify the brusque-listing of vendors. The last choice seems to be made on the basis of other factors.
Fun and games
Obviously, I’m somewhat jaded about (OK,
jaded virtually) adversarial negotiations and inflexible purchasing processes. The games may save the client some fourth dimension, but the cost is trust. And without trust, Agile projects don’t actually work. So y’all’re stuck with Waterfall, which is unlikely to deliver something effective, efficient or truly fit-for-purpose.