Project description: Project for xyz that included development, maintenance and enhancements to the official web site and web-based intranet applications that supported integrated work flows within various departments. I was leading a team of team members including developers, web-designer and Mr X.
Communication Issue: During my tenure leading the project, I have encountered situations where I had to study and resolve conflicts that arise from communication issues. There was this team member X, who was very zealous and enthusiast about the job that he does. He was so multifaceted that he was put into parallel tasks such as HTML web page design, customer support and user training. Lately, there were many issues that came up since Mr. X was very aggressive while dealing with people at the client departments, where he was supposed to communicate politely and more responsive to user questions and call for support. This caused severe conflicts and constraints in project progress. There was constant delays in User acceptance tests (UAT) and final user approvals before the product can be delivered and deployed. All in all, this trailed the project hours, increased the operational expenses to work extra hours and delayed the project turnaround time.
How it could be resolved: I would like to use the ‘Confrontation’ method to resolve the issue, which would target at problem resolution and creating a win-win situation for Mr X., project and the project stakeholders. I would see how I could utilize Mr. X’s skills more efficiently in some other area and fill his position with a cheaper resource who will just do UATs and trainings and who can be more patient and understanding while doing the UATs and training. This way, I can satisfy his desire to be aggressive, at the same time offer a solution for the users who expect patience and understanding. We would offer Mr. X a position in project sales team where he has chance to utilize his aggressive nature and his communication skills. This new arrangement of task activities among Mr. X and the new hire will have profound impacts on the project turn around time. The ultimate effect would be – satisfied Mr X. and happy users – thus less conflicts and least project delays.
Note: Actually, this is what happened in real time. I didn’t know what kind of formal conflict resolution I was using to solve the communication issue. But, now I know. Another big indirect impact of applying this conflict resolution was that Mr X., now working in sales team, started bringing in new projects utilizing his sales skills, which was rather unnoticed.