It is very important to review what needs to take place when changes to production are needed. Each side must come together to evaluate the overall impact of a proposed change. C-S requirements have grown disproportionately since originally determined, making it difficult to accommodate such changes within the approved budget and original established timelines. C-S can have an idea of what they want, but Span must provide input to let them know the intricacies of such a change and to inform them of all the aspects within the process that will be impacted as a result of the change. This way all parties involved can understand the delays that may take place as a result of what is perceived to be one simple change.
It is imperative that we all understand whether changes should be negotiated from a positional bargaining strategy versus one that is interest based. Interest based bargaining (IBB) comes with many names and techniques. In essence, it is a process which addresses problems by identifying the underlying interests of the parties and by jointly developing agreed solutions that best serve those interests. Positional bargaining is the historical model for labor negotiations. Each side comes to the table with a position on an issue and attempts to compel the other side to accept that position. ()
Positional bargaining is a negotiation strategy in which a series of positions, alternative solutions that meet particular interests or needs, are selected by a negotiator, ordered sequentially according to preferred outcomes, and presented to another party in an effort to reach agreement. Positional bargaining is most often used when the interests of the parties are not interdependent, are contradictory, or are mutually exclusive; or when current or future relationships have a lower priority than immediate substantive gains. ()
Interest-based bargaining is a negotiation strategy that focuses on satisfying as many interests or needs as possible for all negotiators. It is a problem-solving process used to reach an integrative solution rather than distributing rewards in a win/lose manner. Interest-based bargaining is most often used when the interests of the parties are interdependent, or when current or future relationships are a high priority. ()
Had Span and C-S used an interest-based strategy, we possibly could have avoided the rush to meet unrealistic deadlines, Span went out of its way to meet expected schedules and the quality of the product was adversely affected. Discussion and mutual exploration for bargaining strategies will usually suggest win-win alternatives.
Integrative bargaining is a strategy whereby the process of identifying a common, shared, or joint goal and developing a process to achieve it. It is meant to be a collaborative process in which the parties define their "common problem" and pursue strategies to solve it. Negotiations must take place in the context of an ongoing relationship where it is important to carry on each negation in away that will help rather than hinder future relations and future negotiations. (ww.unm.edu)
The one-year contract between Span and C-S is worth $6 million. C-S’s bigger e-CRM order is in the pipeline, and chances of Span getting the order hinge on the performance of this contract. In light of this fact it would behoove Span to negotiate in the context of not only an ongoing relationship, but also an improved one.
Initially C-S wanted to rescind the orders. There had been a breakdown on the internal escalation procedure for disputes processes at C-S. I used this contract clause to begin negotiations. C-S’s negotiator, Mr. Ther, agreed that they had not followed all the escalation provisions. While I am aware that the larger issue is clearly the scheduling slippage and the bugs detected in the user testing stage, I felt that the escalation clause would at least open the door for effective dialogue.
With that in mind, I proceeded to suggest the following proactive measures to assist C-S in achieving its business goals.
- Appoint a change control panel to review change requests.
- Invite C-S project manager to serve in a quality control capacity at Span.
- Scale up the team of Span programmers to deliver the product within a reasonable timeframe.
As a result of our willingness to proactively address the situation, Mr. Ther is willing to work together with us to salvage the project. He has reconsidered his decision to rescind the contract and has agreed to renegotiate the contract. From this experience, Span will need to gather all appropriate parties to establish a Change Control Board. This board will communicate to establish review and evaluation procedures to improve contract administration. The board will determine appropriate time frames throughout the project to go over all existing requirements and incorporate any amendments as well as evaluate any disruption the change may have to the continued success of the project. I trust these changes will afford Span future business opportunities with C-S.
Contract Provisions. Retrieved June 8, 2004, from http://www.ofm.wa.gov/contracts/csg/chapter3.pdf
Interest Based Communications for Mutual Gain. Retrieved June 8, 2004, from
Negotiation Facilitation Mediation. Retrieved June 8, 2004, from
Positional Bargaining. Retrieved June 8, 2004, from