Keeping a list of everything I say ‘No’ to

I’ve been updating a document today that I started a few months ago, it keeps a record of everything that I say ‘No’ to.

It’s just a simple three column table, with a brief description of the project, the requestor and our reason for saying ‘No’. It’s already proving useful in the three months I’ve been updating it, but I’m hoping that its value will pay off further in the long term.

The idea behind it is that:

We can become more consistent in our reasoning

By referring back to previous examples, we can give consistent justification to different requestors. We can also give examples to show that we’re treating others equally and that our answer is based on a clear strategy.

We might identify areas where extra resource is needed

Keeping a record helps me see if there is regular demand that we’re not serving. If we’re regularly rejecting similar requests then I can consider whether we should look to provide that service ourselves or look for extra resource to full that need. Similarly, if I ever get asked the question ‘What more could you do with extra resource?’, I’ll have real evidence to base my answer on.

We might develop new working practices that enable us to fulfil similar requests in the future.

Looking back at things we’ve said ‘No’ to can highlight where we could have planned/worked differently to avoid whatever caused.

Projects we've said 'No' to



Web Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

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