In a project group, team members will always have different personalities, roles and different opinions of what the group should prioritise first. The project manager must not ignore conflicts that may arise but resolve these conflicts in an appropriate manner. This can be a very tough challenge for the project manager.
Five common types of conflict that can arise in team assignments include: lack of role clarity, difference in prioritising tasks, working in silos, lack of communication and waiting on completion of task dependencies
Lack of Role Clarity
The project manager is responsible for assigning tasks to team members. The project manager assumes that the team members know what is being required of them to do. This assumption can be incorrect. Team members may be totally confused of what is being asked of them to do. A good project leader explains the tasks clearly and effectively to each group member.
Difference in Prioritising Tasks
Team members usually have more than one task to complete during the course of the project. They then may become confused on which task needs to be completed first. The project manager should indicate clearly which task needs completing first to avoid late submissions.
Working in Silos
Team members often work individually on their tasks. They usually don’t communicate with other group members. This can cause conflict amongst the group as members become annoyed about one persons contribution as they are not communicating with the rest of the group. The project manager needs to to bring them together to discuss project status.
Lack of Communication
Project managers need to bring team members together to avoid irregularities e.g duplication of efforts. The project manager needs to attend the requirements of his/her project group to avoid unnecessary mistakes and time wasting.
Waiting on Completion of Task Dependencies
Some tasks may not be able to be completed until other tasks are completed first. Group members must know the importance of teamwork within a group. For example one group member might be in charge to buy equipment whist another group member may be in charge to install this equipment. If the equipment isn’t purchased then task of installation cannot go ahead. Thus resulting in conflict occurring.
A successful project manager avoids these types of conflicts through communication with his/her project team.