Handling Conflict In Project Management

The next several pages contain a six-part case study in conflict management. Read the instructions carefully on how to keep score and use the boxes in the table on page 301 as the worksheet for recording your choice and the group's choice; after the case study has been completed, your instructor will provide you with the proper grading system for recording your scores.

Part 1: Facing the Conflict As part of his first official duties, the new department manager informs you by memo that he has changed his input and output requirements for the MIS project (on which you are the project manager) because of several complaints by his departmental employees. This is contradictory to the project plan that you developed with the previous manager and are currently working toward. The department manager states that he has already discussed this with the vice president and general manager, a man to whom both of you report, and feels that the former department manager made a poor decision and did not get sufficient input from the employees who would be using the system as to the best system specifications. You telephone him and try to convince him to hold off on his request for change until a later time, but he refuses.

Changing the input-output requirements at this point in time will require a major revision and will set back total system implementation by three weeks. This will also affect other department managers who expect to see this system operational according to the original schedule. You can explain this to your superiors, but the increased project costs will be hard to absorb. The potential cost overrun might be difficult to explain at a later date.

At this point you are somewhat unhappy with yourself at having been on the search committee that found this department manager and especially at having recommended him for this position. You know that something must be done, and the following are your alternatives:

A. You can remind the department manager that you were on the search committee that recommended him and then ask him to return the favor, since he "owes you one."

B. You can tell the department manager that you will form a new search committee to replace him if he doesn't change his position.

C. You can take a tranquilizer and then ask your people to try to perform the additional work within the original time and cost constraints.

D. You can go to the vice president and general manager and request that the former requirements be adhered to, at least temporarily.

E. You can send a memo to the department manager explaining your problem and asking him to help you find a solution.

F. You can tell the department manager that your people cannot handle the request and his people will have to find alternate ways of solving their problems.

G. You can send a memo to the department manager requesting an appointment, at his earliest convenience, to help you resolve your problem.

H. You can go to the department manager's office later that afternoon and continue the discussion further.

I. You can send the department manager a memo telling him that you have decided to use the old requirements but will honor his request at a later time.









Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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