What is "Conflict and Issue Management" on a project? Why are they related?
Conflict is the result of incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands. Conflict is inevitable in a project setting, and conflict resolution is part of a project manager's core responsibilities. Projects are always a delicate balance among a myriad of tradeoffs, and cross-functional projects have the additional tension of functional organizational goals versus project goals. Some types of conflict can even be
positive—a healthy by-product of innovation, growth, and change that can lead to positive results. But some conflict can escalate into damaging behavior that can cripple or kill a project.
Since conflict results from the gap between what your work environment is now and what you want it to be, conflict resolution is therefore a kind of gap analysis—finding root causes that create these gaps and resolving them. And the root causes of conflict in a project setting are largely due to flaws in the project plan, process, or organization. Resolving these project issues is a crucial part of conflict resolution. Project issues need to be recognized, captured, remembered, prioritized, and resolved in a systematic manner. We're treating conflict and project structural problem solving in the same subject because we believe they are almost always tied together. It's a mistake to treat conflict and stress as a separate issue from project planning, execution, and control. You need to do both the immediate damage control that may be necessary to contain a conflict, and also the identification and resolution of the root causes of the conflict.