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Conflict

posted Oct 14, 2010, 2:33 PM by Eddie Woo
Today we continue to look at the vital (and difficult!) role of project managers. It's an obvious reality that people don't always agree (sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally), and we must learn to manage such differences if a project is to succeed.

Here are three scenarios that involve conflict resolution. For each, identify potential causes and areas of conflict in each, and discuss suitable strategies for resolving each one.
  1. Vithoo has just been promoted to the position of project manager. He must now manage and lead a project team that includes many of his close friends with whom he once worked as an equal.
  2. To develop a new information system, a large group is split into three teams, led by Chris, Thanya and Michael. All of them meet with the project manager on weekly basis. Chris is highly experienced, Thanya has limited experience, and Michael is completely new to the company.
  3. Joanna has just received cost and time estimates from each of her team members. She finds the total cost and time of all the estimates far exceeds the original budget and time she allocated to the project.
The following three scenarios relate to negotiation. For each, identify the parties involved and discuss how each party could best prepare prior to negotiations commencing.
  1. Samuel's IT company has used the same outside contractor, Cheuk, to install electrical and LAN cabling for the information systems they develop. Although happy with the quality of Cheuk's work, they find that quotes from competing contractors are significantly less expensive.
  2. Rodger is an experienced database professional who has been offered a new job by a larger competitor. The competitor is offering a much higher salary and the option of working from home. Rodger would prefer to stay with his current employeer, Tim, if he can match the offer. Tim wants to keep Rodger, but raising his salary would present problems as other employees on the same level as Rodger would justifiably expect a similar raise.
  3. The contract for developing an information system specifies financial penalties should the project extend beyond the stated completion date. Rachel the project manager, after discussing with her team, determines that it's unlikely they will finish on time. She intends to arrange a meeting with her senior manager, Lalitha, in an attempt to negotiate a solution.
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