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Description

Disuss about the Developing Software For Traffic Management.

As a project manager of the project that dealt with developing software for traffic management, I faced an unforeseen team conflict quite lately that resulted in the delay in the project processing. Team conflict is not a new thing in today’s business. Different people have different perception towards a single thing and when the idea does not match, it gives rise to conflict among the team members. If this conflict is not handled or resolved properly, it may hamper the project and compromise with the creativity of the employees involved in the conflict, which in turn can affect project or the product quality in its development stage (Rispens 2012). The description, feelings, evaluation and action plan in order to settle down the conflict among the team-members that I have faced recently as a project manager is elaborated in the following paragraphs.

Conflict among the team members, is the result of opposition in ideas and views of team members regarding a common issue. As a project manager, I have an idea that if the perception or the environment of the team or any team member is negative, the outcome will also be negative (Burke 2013). A team conflict aroused while we were working on a software development. The conflict broke in mainly due to the poor understanding of the objectives of the project because of poor-communication among the team-members. Every member had different formulas in analyzing the objective of the project resulting in difference of opinion. These differences in views gave rise to a major conflict among the team-members. The interdependent task was greatly hampered due to this conflict and at this point, as a project manager I felt to look into the matter and resolve the problem before it is too late.

I could see my project suffering and missing the deadline of the first release. I felt terrible as a project manager and considered myself responsible for the conflict and the probable loss. A project manager’s, responsibility is to see to it whether my team is performing up to the mark and the check the progress of the task. Therefore, even I was responsible for this conflict to some extent.  A project manager’s responsibility is to successfully plan, initiate design and execute the project (Kerzner 2013). It also relates to successful monitoring, controlling and closure of the project. Hence, it was my responsibility to manage and control the conflict in order to curb it.

Feelings

The primary task required to be done to control the conflict was to know the reason of the conflict (Doucey 2017). The cause of the conflict was that, the designing team of the software made certain changes in the design of the software without consulting the coding team members. This communication gap was the major reason of the conflict. The coding team had a different perspective towards the objective of the project and they were not ready to accept the changes made by the designing team. Even the designing team was not ready to flinch from their demand. This gave rise to huge conflict and resulted in the delay in the work.

The next thing, which I had to do as a project manager, was to understand the situation, making a plan to curb the issue. I understood that the conflict could have been avoided if the detailed plan about the processes of product development is made before the initiation of the project. However, since we are following an agile methodology for project development, the changes in the course of action was expected (Rossi 2013). Changes are generally implemented in the course of action on basis of users’ feedback. Our software was not even ready for the first release and therefore, implementing any changes during the development process was not necessary. Designing team was adamant on implementing the change, as according to their point of view, the change was necessary to implement keeping in mind the customer’s requirement. Development team however had a different concern. The coding procedure of the software was already at a peak stage and according to them, if the changes had to be implemented at that stage of development, the project would definitely miss the deadline of the first release.

The situation was critical, as both the teams were correct according to their point of view. In order to curb the conflict it was necessary for me to find a solution that would satisfy both the teams. Employee satisfaction is necessary to get the maximum output in work. The creativity of the employees hugely reflects in a perfect work and hence it was necessary for me to look into the employees’ satisfaction while acknowledging the issue. However, it was my responsibility as a project manager, to ascertain that my project release does not miss its deadline. It was indeed a critical situation, which could have been avoided, if the issue or the conflict was identified in its initial phase.

Evaluation

In order to manage the conflict, I at first made both the teams talk about their concerns with me and with each other. Then I briefed them the pros and cons of the issue and its effect in the overall performance of the team (O'Neill, Allen and Hastings 2013). I scheduled individual meetings with the team members to understand their perspective. I tried to bridge the communication gap between the teams and make them understand the aim of the project, which is a common goal for all the team members.

The major challenge was the decision making process keeping in mind the risk associated with the decision. The major concern was not to miss the deadline of the release. Hence, I urged both the teams for co-operation. This way I could lessen the impact of the conflict. The team members were now ready to keep their ego aside and focus on the team. Both the teams were called for a meeting to reach a common settlement. Both the team leaders were asked to put forward their views and suggestion and the issue that were concerning them. The issue and the suggestions of both the team leaders were taken into consideration. I asked them to find a solution themselves. This made them talk about the issues with each other and thus I was successful in bridging the communication gap between the two teams, which was majorly responsible for the situation of a conflict.

Finally, it was the time for decision-making (Pettigrew 2014). It is evaluated that the changes that were suggested by the designing team consisted of some major and minor changes. Major changes were not possible to implement because of the time crisis. However, the minor changes suggested by the designing team were possible to incorporate in the design. I found out that the major changes that were suggested by the designing team could be avoided in the first sprint release and could be incorporated in the next release (Staron, Meding and Palm  2012). Thus the decision of the excluding the major changes in the designing and developing of the software proved to be correct. The development team had no issue in implementing the minor changes, as they would not have to modify the whole coding. The developing team also agreed to implement the major changes that were suggested by the designing team, in the next release. The designing team was satisfied with the decision, as their suggestion was not scrapped out.  The designing team was also suggested to do a thorough research of customers’ feedback after the first release and the required changes are reported well in advance so that the developing team does face any difficulty in implementing them.

Conclusion

Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that conflict is common in every organization. Conflict among the team members generally occurs due to difference in views and perception among the team-members. The project discussed was of a development of particular software following the agile methodology. The conflict aroused due to the differences in opinion of designing and developing team. Team conflicts hamper the performance of team members and affect the overall project. Conflict generally has damaging effects on team. Moreover, conflict results in poor co-ordination among the team-members in interdependent task. It reduces the cohesion among the team and its members and affects their ability to work as a team in achieving the goal. Therefore, managing a team conflict is very necessary.   A project manager’s responsibility is to properly plan, initiate and execute a project. Therefore, if any conflict arises, project manager should step in, to resolve it. The methods, employed in resolving the above-discussed conflict is suitable for the cause. However, it is responsibility of the project manager to ensure that no conflict arises in the course of action for developing a product successfully. Conflict may result is a huge loss for the organization and thus it is recommended to be avoided. Changes that could be implemented to avoid this type of conflict in future are to ascertain that cohesion among the team and its members are not lost due to the communication gap or differences in opinion, and even if there is a difference among opinion, it is solved as soon as possible.

References

Burke, R., 2013. Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Doucey, M., 2017. Understanding the root causes of conflicts: why it matters for international crisis management. The Journal, 25(1).

Kerzner, H., 2013. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

O'Neill, T.A., Allen, N.J. and Hastings, S.E., 2013. Examining the “Pros” and “Cons” of Team Conflict: A Team-Level Meta-Analysis of Task, Relationship, and Process Conflict. Human Performance, 26(3), pp.236-260.

Pettigrew, A.M., 2014. The politics of organizational decision-making. Routledge.

Rispens, S., 2012. The influence of conflict issue importance on the co?occurrence of task and relationship conflict in teams. Applied psychology, 61(3), pp.349-367.

Rossi, D., 2013. Agile software development.

Staron, M., Meding, W. and Palm, K., 2012. Release readiness indicator for mature agile and lean software development projects. Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming, pp.93-107.

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