Types Of Conflict In Project Management

Recognizing Joint Conflict That Can Abort Progress

Understand the five common types of conflicts found on the project team and how a project manager can work to prevent and resolve these conflicts.

Balancing the Team

Among the project team, team members may have multiple personalities, roles, and different priority senses. The project manager should anticipate the type of conflict among team members and try to solve it for the good of the project. Balancing team members can be a challenge in itself.

The five common types of conflicts found in the project team include lack of clarity of roles, differences in task prioritization, work in silos, lack of communication and waiting for others to accomplish tasks with dependency.

 

Understand the five common types of conflicts found on the project team and how a project manager can work to prevent and resolve these conflicts.

Balancing the Team

Balancing

Among the project team, team members may have multiple personalities, roles, and different priority senses. The project manager should anticipate the type of conflict among team members and try to solve it for the good of the project. Balancing team members can be a challenge in itself.

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The five common types of conflicts found in the project team include lack of clarity of roles, differences in task prioritization, work in silos, lack of communication and waiting for others to accomplish tasks with dependency.

# 1 – Lack of Clarity Roles

The project manager is responsible for assigning assignments to each project team member. Also, they often assume that team members understand what is required of them. This assumption can be wrong, causing team members to be unclear about what needs to be done. A good project manager takes the time to explain his or her task, expectations and time of completion.

# 2 – Differences in Prioritizing Tasks

Just because the project manager considers the work as a milestone, the team members who complete the task may not. Team members can work simultaneously on many projects and can not differentiate priorities from one project task from another. The project manager should try to explain the overall importance of the project to the company and help prioritize their tasks as needed.

# 3 – Working at Silo

Often, project team members work independently. They may work remotely or be in a different location than other project team members. Conflict arises when team members are unaware of what other people are doing and are not communicating with each other. Project managers need to bring together teams to discuss project status and obstacles to get the project completed. If team members who work in silos can imagine how they become part of the bigger picture, they will be more motivated and feel part of the team.

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# 4 – Lack of Communication

The project manager should encourage a clear communication path between project team members. To minimize duplication of effort, the project manager must communicate expectations to all team members. The project manager needs to be readily available to project team members at any time during the project. If team members can not reach the project manager or other team members, they may be whirling around aimlessly.

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# 5 – Pending Dependency Tasks

Some tasks can not start until another task is done. Team members need to understand the impact of their role on others. For example, if one team member is responsible for ordering other equipment and mounting equipment, one task depends on the other. Conflict can occur if the first team member is delayed in completing the work.


Avoiding Conflict

Good project managers avoid this type of conflict by managing their teams with clear communication. Using project plans to manage schedules and holding frequent recurring meetings with their teams will result in quick problem resolution and satisfactory project outcomes.

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