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How to manage Conflicts in Projects!
13 May

How to manage Conflicts in Projects!

  • Sunil Meshram, PMP®
  • 13 May, 2017

In today's world we can see projects going on everywhere. These are projects with diverse stakeholders having diverse expectations; in such cases conflict is inevitable. Within a project's environment, conflict may yield undesirable outcomes on the project objectives. Prolonged conflicts can have detrimental effects on the project objectives and in extreme cases may lead to project getting shelved.


However, if actively managed, conflicts can actually help the team arrive at a better solution to meet the project objectives. The proactive project manager should be able to identify the causes for conflict and then actively manage the conflict thus minimizing potential negative impacts to the project objectives.


Managing conflict in a project scenario involves building the trust necessary for all involved parties to be open and honest, and to engage in seeking a positive resolution to the situation creating the conflict.  Trust can be built by being honest – if you tell the truth; your stakeholders will trust you. Always be honest especially when no one is looking. Respect your stakeholders, treat your stakeholders with the same respect as you would expect in return. As a Project Manager, keep your word no matter what. One way we breach trust is when we don’t keep our words. If you are unable to keep your words, better is to get back to the stakeholders and explain why?


Project managers should also try to establish a collaborative approach among the project team members involved in order to fully resolve the problems.  Brainstorming with team members can generate useful ideas which can be used for the benefit of the project.


A Project manager should manage conflicts proactively rather than suppress or avoid them. In the process of resolving conflicts, many problems can be identified and solved by removing obstacles and creating a new environment for growth. If conflicts within a project are not managed proactively, they can derail a project, as they waste a lot of energy and time, and invoke tension, which reduces the productivity and creativity of concerned stakeholders.

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