Ah, conflict. So many potential sources of it on our projects. But as the leaders of our projects, we do not get to run screaming for the hills! And actually, some forms of conflict are absolutely necessary. It's our job as project leaders to deal with it — encourage and facilitate constructive conflict at the right times; anticipate and hopefully avoid bad conflict; and recognize, acknowledge, and take action when potentially destructive conflict does occur.
This week we tackle a range of typical conflict areas, including arguments over "proper" use of project methodologies like Agile, and that perennial hotbed of potential angst and unhappiness, virtual meetings. We've also got a brand new guideline on the role of a true project leader in handling all kinds of project and team conflict, from interpersonal to issues-related. Finally, I've highlighted several classics from the blogs with some great tips for handling conflict in your teams. And note — in our next newsletter in two weeks, I'll be covering conflict related to (unclear, competing, and changing) priorities — so stay tuned!
May your days be mostly smooth but your conflict skills ready for the inevitable!
Is the Agile Manifesto Dangerous?
Magdy Hanna recently asked me to read his "Close Look at the Agile Manifesto after 13 years" and give him my reactions to his analysis. Among the more provocative things he wrote was that he thinks the Agile Manifesto is "dangerous" because it encourages abuse and misuse of good engineering practice. In Magdy's words, "I hope our young software engineers do not see the Manifesto! If it were within my authority, I would have prevented those who are new to agile from reading it."
Magdy, everything you write about Agile methods is true. Many people abuse the concepts, misunderstand their responsibilities, and end up hacking rather than engineering software...
But the problems cannot be blamed on the methods; they are the result of human foibles, not methodological failures.
Read the rest »
PMLight™ FastRAMP: Only a few days left for Early Bird price!
The PMLight FastRAMP series focuses on practical, just-enough project management, and how you can achieve it on your projects. It's really about business-savvy and "low overhead" project leadership — which executives value highly and teams will love you for. Live classes are held each Friday for 2 hours, so you can interact with the presenters and ask questions. But If the live class times aren't convenient, or if you've got a vacation scheduled, you can review every session using on-demand recordings, whenever you like, and submit questions and comments by email. Either way you learn how to best use valuable PM approaches on different sizes and types of projects, without feeling like a micromanager. You get new tools and techniques you can use immediately, and you can earn 12 PDUs for completing the full course. Classes begin September 25th. Classes begin September 25th.
Save $150 if you register before close of business Wednesday, August 26.
Group rates are available too! (Email email@example.com for info).
Be a Master at Virtual Meetings — New Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
Effective Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings can actually be a productive team experience (vs. a terror of awkward communication and wasted time.) This mini-course covers preparation, agendas, pre-selling, online meeting etiquette, and more. The techniques help the local leader orchestrate a meeting that keeps everyone engaged and included, help remote attendees assert themselves without being offensive, and provide ways for everyone to stay on task and engaged in challenging meeting environments. 1.25 PDUs
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Guideline: The Project Leader's Role in Dealing with Conflict
Leveraging It, Avoiding It, Recognizing It, and Dealing with It – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until September 3, 2015
Conflict is one of those areas where our leadership skills show — or don't. Every project has conflicts — among people, over hard decisions, over priorities... The key is how artfully and proactively we handle all that conflict — and also how we even encourage constructive conflict at the right times. This guideline provides a rich overview of the Project Leader's role across a naturally conflict-sprinkled (or outright conflict-laden!) project landscape, a framework for addressing any conflict constructively, specific techniques for handling different kinds of conflict, and pointers to additional resources for handling each as well. If you find project conflict uncomfortable, this guideline will cast the subject in a new and much less dread-ful light. And even if conflict is something you don't particularly dread, these tips will make clear all the things you can do (including very early in the project) to master, and masterfully handle, project conflict.
Dealing with Conflict — Key Questions, 360 Reviews, and Bottom Lines
When interactions with a particular team member or stakeholder are tense, 3 techniques that can help you get to the root of the problem and reset to a better working relationship.
User's Guide to Working with Me – MEMBER
A simple worksheet that helps everyone get to know the people behind all those goals, roles, and commitments. By identifying the human factors that color (and sometimes complicate) our projects, it helps teams avoid conflicts from different communication styles and approaches to getting work done.
What do you want? Great advice for how to stop in the middle of a heated situation and get a conflict-filled discussion back on track.
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