Conflict Resolution and Consensus Decisions

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Integrated Project Management
By Earl Hall, Juliane Johnson
Table of Contents
Chapter 1.  The IPM Project Manager


One norm the project manager should suggest to the team is a norm to resolve team conflict. Because differences of opinion among team members concerning task execution, length, risk, and so forth could arise, a procedure is needed to resolve these differences. Conflicts during meetings must be dealt with because if allowed to develop and simmer, they can cause team members to lose their enthusiasm for the project. Conflict also can slow down a meeting. Although no magic solution exists, one procedure generally works if team members are familiar with it and are prepared to use it before conflict occurs.

The conflict resolution norm can be stated as follows: We agree that when two individuals or two groups of team members advance conflicting proposals, each will explore the other's concept, develop a clear statement of it, gather information and data to support it, and report their findings to the team.

Should this norm be invoked, the meeting may have to be interrupted and completion rescheduled, but it will be worth it. Afterward, the project manager usually can guide the team to a consensus. A consensus decision does not necessarily mean that every team member or the project manager fully supports it. It does mean that all recognize the position of the majority and are willing to accept it and move on. Consensus should be accomplished with a discussion, not a vote.

In IPM, much energy is invested in keeping team members connected as a team and in moving forward with planning as quickly as possible.


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    Integrated Project Management
    Integrated Project Management
    ISBN: 0071466266
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 190

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