Project Management

Finding the Right Way to Say No to a Project

IT gets a bad rap for saying “no” way too often. This often puts it at odds with the business as it seems that both sides are fighting endlessly between requests and rejections. But this bad rap can be turned around just by changing the way you go about saying no. In an article for TechRepublic, Patrick Gray gives a blueprint on how to do just that.

Knowing How to “No” Things

The first step to saying no the right way comes from understanding why exactly you need to say no. It typically results from a lack of resources. Look at the factors that are affecting your staff. Can you free up their time so that you do not have to decline a new project? If there are currently processes that clog up the daily routine, work to minimize their impact on your team. There might even be some tasks that vendors or partners can tackle so your staff can be freed up. The key here is to see if your staff has anything that might be slowing them down in the long run. Then you can address the problem and move your staff to working in the right direction.

When it’s clear removing items from your list won’t be an option, the next step is to work with the business to reach the “no.” Talking with the requester and seeing if there is any way to reprioritize the items so that it can work in their best interest is a step in the right direction. Gray also notes the value of collaborating to reach these conclusions:

When you collaborate to reach a decision, you can also help the requester explore IT-friendly outside options. While this will require some level of involvement from your team, it will be better in the long run to be involved in the decision-making and implementation process, since you’ll ultimately have to support the platform anyway. Even if you still ultimately say no to a request, collaborating on the decision will chip away at the “Department of No” image, since IT is behaving transparently and collaboratively.

You can view the original article here:

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