Solutions to the Project Management Conflict Exercise

Part One: Facing the Conflict

After reading the answers that follow, record your score on line 1 of the worksheet on page 301.

A. Although many project managers and functional managers negotiate by "returning" favors, this custom is not highly recommended. The department manager might feel some degree of indebtedness at first, but will surely become defensive in follow-on projects in which you are involved, and might even get the idea that this will be the only way that he will be able to deal with you in the future. If this was your choice, allow one point on line 1.

B. Threats can only lead to disaster. This is a surefire way of ending a potentially good arrangement before it starts. Allow no points if you selected this as your solution.

C. If you say nothing, then you accept full responsibility and accountability for the schedule delay and increased costs. You have done nothing to open communications with the department manager. This could lead into additional conflicts on future projects. Enter two points on line 1 if this was your choice.

D. Requesting upper-level management to step in at this point can only complicate the situation. Executives prefer to step in only as a last resort. Upper-level management will probably ask to talk to the department manager first. Allow two points on line 1 if this was your choice.

E. Although he might become defensive upon receiving your memo, it will become difficult for him to avoid your request for help. The question, of course, is when he will give you this help. Allow eight points on line 1 if you made this choice.

F. Trying to force your solution on the department manager will severely threaten him and provide the basis for additional conflict. Good project managers will always try to predict emotional reactions to whatever decisions they might be forced to make. For this choice, allow two points on line 1 of the worksheet.

G. Making an appointment for a later point in time will give both parties a chance to cool off and think out the situation further. He will probably find it difficult to refuse your request for help and will be forced to think about it between now and the appointment. Allow ten points for this choice.

H. An immediate discussion will tend to open communications or keep communication open. This will be advantageous. However, it can also be a disadvantage if emotions are running high and sufficient time has not been given to the selection of alternatives. Allow six points on line 1 if this was your choice.

I. Forcing the solution your way will obviously alienate the department manager. The fact that you do intend to honor his request at a later time might give him some relief especially if he understands your problem and the potential impact of his decision on other departments. Allow three points on line 1 for this choice.

Part Two: Using the scoring table shown on page 865, determine your total score.

Understanding Record your total in the appropriate box on line 2 of the worksheet on

Emotions page 301. There are no "absolutely" correct answers to this problem, merely what appears to be the "most" right.

Part Three:

Establishing

Communications

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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