Conflicts in Project team: – Your project team brings together people with varied skills and profiles, working together to carry out a project. Thinking, prioritizing tasks, managing the budget can be handled differently by team members. In addition, managing a project is stressful and tensions can develop within the team, which may lead to conflict.
On the positive side, a conflict brings new ideas, may lead to a new approach, and serves to resolve a dispute between members of the project team. However, a conflictual climate is never beneficial, nor productive in project management. It is preferable to calm the tensions and resolve the conflict well upstream. It is up to you, as project manager, to do this.
Main Reasons for Conflicts in Project team
To guide you, here are the four main reasons for conflict within a project team and their solution.
- Poor Management of the Project team
Lack of clarity in the distribution of roles, absence of framework and steering, unrealistic objectives and deadlines … Poor management on the part of the project leader can easily lead to tensions or even conflicts within the project team.
Being a project leader can be a difficult job. Managing a team is not simple and it is not innate for everyone. It is necessary to know how to juggle with the skills and the characters of each one, to follow the progress of the project, to respect the deadlines, to give precise instructions, to know how to delegate, etc…
If you are not fair to each member of the team (for example, by always soliciting the most hard-working people and letting the shooters do nothing), it becomes a source of conflict.
Be a good manager! A bad management of the project team will lead to the blocking of the project. To avoid this and become a better manager, you can already follow these tips. Otherwise, there are also training courses in conflict management.
- The time Constraint
The time is a key factor in project management. But it is also being a cause of stress and pressure for team member’s project.
You have to meet deadlines, be ready for the deadline … This constant race against the clock and the lack of time add to the already heavy pressure on the shoulders of the different members of your team.
If the deadlines are not met, the tension rises and conflict can quickly break out.
Never impose deadlines without consultation with the entire project team. This creates unnecessary tensions. And always set deadlines.
- The Diversity of Profiles within the Project team
In project management, the human is the most delicate element to manage. Remember that the successful operation of the project team influences the success or failure of the project.
Each member of the project team was selected for his / her profile, skills and professional experience. Everyone has different qualifications and know-how that they put to the team.
However, each individual also has its own character, values and way of working. Having lots of ideas, being reliable, being creative, and generating profits … Well doing his job is interpreted differently according to people.
If your team is multicultural, it will only grow because your employees will work differently depending on their region or country of origin.
This diversity in profiles can be a source of conflict because everyone is not made to work together.
Your role as a project manager is fundamental: you must quickly create team cohesion. A true conductor, it is up to you to ensure that your team works harmoniously together.
For example, write a team charter together to lay the foundations for collective work. Solder your team with team building.
- Poor Communication
In project management, communicating well is essential. Lack of communication can lead to mistakes, misunderstandings, and confusion that result in unnecessary effort and waste of time and money.
For example, a team member, thinking to do well, is working on a task that was not assigned to him. This will create a duplicate with the person in charge of this task. It is a waste of time that generates tensions between the two members concerned.
Communicate effectively. Avoid exchanging only by email. An email can easily go to the hatch, be read crosswise or diagonally, then forgotten or deleted.
Keep meetings up-to-date on project progress, assign new tasks, review deadlines, etc. Do not forget to write down the decisions made in a report accessible to everyone.
Use tools that are specialized in project management.
Centralization of information, transparency in exchanges, better monitoring of the work of everyone, etc. The advantages of collaborative project management software are many.
You will understand the most complex in project management is the management of the human. Because the success or failure of the project rests on good teamwork, it is important to avoid tensions and conflicts. Often easier said than done, because managing a team whose members have profiles and routes very varied are not easy.
It is up to you, project manager, to create strong group cohesion. You are the guarantor of peace and harmony within your team.
To help you, there are tools like collaborative project management software, which facilitate the communication of information between the members of the project team and thus allow a better management of project. Finally, if this is not enough, you can take training to improve your management skills or, if it is already too late, to learn how to better manage conflicts.