Project Management Templates > Conflict and Issue Management

Conflict and Issue Management

No project plan survives first contact with reality. Inevitably there will be conflicts: resource shortages, scheduling issues, conflicting requirements. You may even need to navigate issues between warring stakeholders or squabbling team members. These templates and guidelines will help you balancing all of these competing interests so your team can work together toward project success. For a more comprehensive list, see our Conflict and Issue Management Know-How, which includes case studies, presentations, problem solvers, and more.

Avoiding Typical Sources of Conflict
  • Adapting Processes for Different Projects
    Learn how your existing PM and development processes can accommodate different project lengths, risk profiles, and levels of complexity. Includes examples of communicating different project profiles to your teams, to help them select the right process elements up front.
  • Guidelines - Personality Types Impact on Team Interactions
    A guideline explaining how an understanding of the "personality types" of your team members can be useful for avoiding conflict and promoting effective collaboration among your team members, who may differ in the way they perceive and organize information, communicate, and make decisions.
  • Effective Meetings Checklist
    A comprehensive checklist for planning and running effective meetings.
  • Vendor assessment checklist
    A set of questions to ask a company or contract resource you're thinking of hiring for your project. The questions are aimed at ensuring you have a common understanding and good fit in goals, skills and experience, processes, and priorities. Avoid disaster! Choose your partner well.
  • Project Flexibility Matrix
    A simple but effective tool that helps guide tradeoff discussions on Scope, Resources and Schedule.
  • Project Alternatives Tradeoff Table
    Use this template to cut through all the complex decisions that can plague the front end of a project. The table gives your team a concise way to document (and communicate!) the alternatives you are considering for scope and features, and the impact of various combinations on the project's cost, schedule, resources, and risk. Getting it all onto a page or two can really help a cross-functional team reach agreement on a reasonable scope that meets most important customer requirements.
  • Scored and Ranked Project List for Portfolio Management
    A format for creating a scored and ranked project list to aid in the process of project prioritization for portfolio management and resource allocation.

Problem-solving, Conflict Resolution, and Communication
  • Establishing Ground Rules for Issue Escalation
    This worksheet guides your team through the important step of setting ground rules for initial communication of issues with your sponsor and team members.
  • Brainstorming Meeting Techniques
    Guidelines for facilitating a brainstorming session, covering several types of brainstorming, detailed guidelines for starting off effectively, and pitfalls to watch out for.
  • Conducting a Basic Pareto Analysis
    Guidelines and example for preparing a rudimentary Pareto analysis chart in Microsoft Excel®.
  • Issue Resolution Status Report
    Format for reporting progress on work to resolve one or more open issues (e.g. project or technical issues).
  • Root Cause Analysis Checklist
    Get to the root of the problem and make sure that you're not just solving a symptom.
  • Problem-Solving Tools and Techniques
    Six different problem-solving tools help you do everything from determining root causes to assessing possible solutions, and outline a basic problem-solving strategy so you can be sure you've covered all the bases.
  • Recommendation Template
    Craft an organized, well documented recommendation to proceed with a given business solution or alternative. It includes all of the key components needed to make an informed decision about whether or not to endorse or approve the recommendation.
  • Project Escalation Process Guidelines
    Scope issues, major tradeoff decisions, and serious resource conflicts are all examples of situations that can require escalation to higher management.
  • Preventing & Solving Meeting Disruptions
    Suggestions for handling those "impossible" people who continually disrupt, derail, and detract from meetings.
  • Speaking Up – How to Make Your Case
    Speaking up is a key leadership skill, whether or not you're officially the team leader. This guideline can help you make your case more effectively when you see ways your team could improve the project or work together better.
  • Late Cost Per Week Worksheet
    This simple worksheet will help your team calculate and communicate the financial impact to the organization if your project slips by a week… or two weeks… or more.
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