Are you involved in a Zero-Sum game negotiation? This is an important question that you and your team must answer before engaging in a negotiation. Think carefully. Most projects, especially complex technology, systems integration and design-build construction projects allow for expansion of the "economic pie". Project managers must find a way to shift negotiations away from traditional (distributive) haggling to meaningful (integrative) interest-based negotiation. This involves expanding the economic pie for all parties.
Interest-based negotiation recognizes that cost (or money) is not the only thing that we can bargain with. Parties typically have six factors that are important to them: (1) Cost, (2) Technical Preferences, (3) Risk Tolerance, (4) Schedule, (5) Time Value of Money and (6) Expectations or Reputation. The differences in these factors provides the basis for an interesting give-and-take whereby each party is able to yield on issues unimportant to them but important to the other party. In doing so, the parties expand the economic pie and create a better outcome - true WIN-WIN!