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Ch. 6: Conflict and Negotiation. Most Conflicts Have Their Roots in Uncertainty, and Negotiation Is a Way of Managing the Resultant Risk. Ch. 6.0: A Good Way to Understand Conflict.

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Ch. 6: Conflict and Negotiation

Most Conflicts Have Their Roots in Uncertainty, and Negotiation Is a Way of Managing the Resultant Risk

ch 6 0 a good way to understand conflict

Ch. 6.0: A Good Way to Understand Conflict

Conflict is a process which begins when one party perceives that the other party has frustrated some concern of his/her

ch 6 0 when is a conflict resolved
Ch. 6.0: When Is a Conflict Resolved?

When the level of frustration has been lowered to the point where no action against the other party is being contemplated

ch 6 1 two definitions of negotiation
Ch. 6.1: Two Definitions of Negotiation
  • Negotiation is a process through which the parties seek an acceptable rate of exchange for items they own or control
  • Negotiation is an endeavor that focuses on gaining the favor of people from whom we want things
ch 6 1 pareto optimal solution
Ch. 6.1: Pareto-optimal Solution

A solution, such that no party can be made better without making another party worse off by the same amount or more (the antithesis of a win/win situation)

ch 6 2 partnering
Ch. 6.2: Partnering

Partnering is a method of transforming contractual relationships into a cohesive, cooperative project team with a single set of goals

ch 6 2 multi step process for building partnered projects
Ch. 6.2: Multi-step Process for Building Partnered Projects
  • Commitment
  • Four part agreement:
    • Joint progress evaluation
    • Problem resolution method
    • Continuous improvement goals
    • Joint review at project termination
ch 6 2 project charter
Ch. 6.2: Project Charter

Written agreement between PM, senior management and functional managers, committing resources and people to the project

ch 6 2 a charter is a signed commitment to
Ch. 6.2: A Charter Is a Signed Commitment To:
  • Meet design intent
  • Complete contract without the need for litigation
  • Finish the project on schedule
  • Keep cost growth equal or below a predetermined amount
ch 6 2 scope changes are caused by
Ch. 6.2: Scope Changes Are Caused By:
  • Technological uncertainty
  • When the project team learns more about the nature of the deliverable
  • A mandate
ch 6 2 conflicting priorities
Ch. 6.2: Conflicting Priorities
  • High priority projects: currently supported by senior management
  • Lower priority projects: should be done if time and resources permit
  • Mandates: must be done immediately
ch 6 2 and then there is this pearl of wisdom
Ch. 6.2: …. And Then There Is This Pearl of Wisdom

This project is so important, we cannot let things that are more important interfere with it

ch 6 3 conflict sources
Ch. 6.3: Conflict Sources
  • Schedules
  • Priorities
  • Staff and labor requirement
  • Technical factors
  • Administrative procedures
  • Cost estimate
  • Personality conflicts
ch 6 3 the three fundamental conflict categories
Ch. 6.3: The Three Fundamental Conflict Categories
  • Different groups with different goals
  • Who makes decisions
  • Interpersonal conflicts
ch 6 3 conflict and the project life cycle plc
Ch. 6.3: Conflict and the Project Life Cycle (PLC)
  • The project life cycle (PLC)
  • Nature of conflicts in the PLC
  • Linkage of PLC with conflict categories
ch 6 3 personality clashes
Ch. 6.3: Personality Clashes

Senior Management  PM  Client

ch 6 3 project manager vs functional manager conflicts
Ch. 6.3: Project Manager Vs. Functional Manager Conflicts
  • PM concern: project
  • FM concern: day-today operations
ch 6 3 who decides in a matrix organization
Ch. 6.3: Who Decides in a Matrix Organization?
  • PM: schedule and flow of work
  • FM: technical decisions, manpower
ch 6 3 when top management fixes time and cost too tight
Ch. 6.3: When Top Management Fixes Time and Cost Too Tight
  • Underestimation of cost and time
  • PM tries to pass cost and time squeeze on to FM
  • FM complains to senior management that he/she cannot meet cost and time goals
ch 6 3 whose priorities are ruling
Ch. 6.3: Whose Priorities are ruling?
  • Functional manager
  • Client
  • Project team
ch 6 3 methods for settling project priority conflicts
Ch. 6.3 Methods for Settling Project Priority Conflicts
  • Priority ranking through PS model
  • Priority ranking through senior management
ch 6 3 the who and what of matrix organization conflicts
Ch. 6.3: The“Who” and “What” of Matrix Organization Conflicts

(*) Good example of senior management wanting to have their cake AND eat it!

ch 6 3 fundamental issues for conflict during project formation
Ch. 6.3: Fundamental Issues for Conflict during Project Formation
  • Technical objectives
  • Commitment of resources
  • Priority
  • Organizational structure
ch 6 3 questions leading to conflict during project formation
Ch. 6.3: Questions leading to Conflict during Project Formation
  • Which of the functional areas will be needed to accomplish project tasks?
  • What will be the required level of involvement of each of the functional areas?
  • How will conflicts over resources/facility usage between this and other projects be settled?
ch 6 3 more questions leading to conflict during project formation
Ch. 6.3: More Questions leading to Conflict during Project Formation
  • What about those resource/facility issues between the project and the routine work in the functional departments?
  • Who has the authority to decide the technical, scheduling, personnel and cost issues?
  • How will changes in the parent organizations priorities be communicated to everyone involved?
ch 6 3 how a main phase scheduling conflict develops
Ch. 6.3: How a Main Phase Scheduling Conflict Develops
  • Some project activity runs into trouble
  • Some tasks dependent on (1) will be delayed
  • (2) will delay the entire project
  • PM tries to prevent (3) from happening by requesting resources from his dear buddy, the FM
  • PM Vs. FM (looks like deja vue!)
ch 6 3 environment for conflict during phase out
Ch. 6.3:Environment for Conflict during Phase out
  • Schedule slippage consequences from main phase felt strongly during phase out
  • Firm deadlines  hectic environment
  • Substantial cost overruns ignored to meet deadline  potential conflict with senior management
  • Functional groups needed to support project team to meet deadlines  potential conflict with FM (outch! Not again!)
ch 6 3 personality conflicts during project phase out
Ch. 6.3: Personality Conflicts During Project Phase out
  • Pressure to complete project
  • Anxiety to leave project
  • Distribution of project resources at project termination
  • Fresh starting projects Vs. Phasing out projects
ch 6 3 discipline oriented vs problem oriented individual
Ch. 6.3: Discipline Oriented Vs. Problem Oriented Individual

“He/she will do whatever he/she thinks is right to get his/her own job done, whether or not it is good for the company or anyone else”

Pelled and Adler, 1994

ch 6 3 successful handling of conflicts by pm
Ch. 6.3: Successful Handling of Conflicts by PM

Ability to reduce and resolve conflict in ways to support achievement of project’s goals

Primary tool: Negotiation

ch 6 3 preview and reading for ch 6 4
Ch. 6.3: Preview and Reading for Ch. 6.4
  • Pinto and Kharbanda (1995) – conflict resolution in the spirit of win-win negotiation
  • Dyer (1987) – focus on conflict between team members
  • Afzalur (1992) – general work on win-win negotiating

Similarities between the confrontation-problem solving technique and win-win negotiation:

ch 6 4 negotiations not covered in section 6 4
Ch. 6.4 Negotiations NOT covered in Section 6.4
  • President and Congress
  • NFL player’s agent and team
  • Real-estate buyer and seller
  • Divorce
  • Collective bargaining agreement
  • Tourist and peddler
ch 6 4 key to understanding the nature of negotiating
Ch. 6.4: Key to Understanding the Nature of Negotiating

NOT: whether or not a task will be undertaken or a deliverable produced

BUT: project design of the deliverable and/or how the design will be achieved, by whom, and at what cost

ch 6 4 main requirement for conflict reduction resolution
Ch. 6.4: Main Requirement for Conflict Reduction/Resolution

Conflict is to be settled without irreparable harm to the project’s objectives

ch 6 4 second requirement for conflict reduction resolution
Ch. 6.4: Second Requirement for Conflict Reduction/Resolution

Honesty between negotiators

ch 6 4 the win win solution
Ch. 6.4: The Win/Win Solution

Seek solutions to the conflict that not only satisfy an individual’s own needs, but also satisfy the needs of other parties-at-interest and the parent organization

ch 6 4 principled negotiation
Ch. 6.4: Principled Negotiation
  • Separate people from problem
  • Focus on interest, not position
  • Before trying to reach agreement, invent options for mutual gain
  • Insist on using objective criteria
ch 6 4 how to separate people from problems
Ch. 6.4: How to Separate People from Problems

Carefully define the substantive problem

Then, let everyone work on the problem – not on the person

ch 6 4 how to focus on interest not position
Ch. 6.4: How to Focus on Interest, not Position

WRONG: Focus on position

PM: “I need this subassembly by November 15”FM:” I will not deliver it before February 1 next year”

RIGHT: Focus on interest

FM and PM: “Let’s talk about the schedule for this subassembly.”

ch 6 4 two examples of negotiating positions
Ch. 6.4: Two Examples of Negotiating Positions

1. Real estate bidder, assuming a future property value:“I will not pay more than 1 Million for that property”

2. Assume that a workgroups current workload will not change, PM states:“We cannot deliver this subassembly before February 1”

ch 6 4 shifting focus from position to interest
Ch. 6.4: Shifting Focus from Position to Interest

Real estate bidders true interest:

Earn a certain return on investment in the property

Workgroup PM’s true interest:

Not to commit to delivery of work if delivery on the due date cannot be guaranteed

ch 6 4 an interest negotiator s knowledge and purpose
Ch. 6.4: An Interest Negotiator’s Knowledge and Purpose

Knowledge:The parties-at-interests interests


Suggesting solutions that satisfy the conflicting parties interests without agreeing with either sides position

ch 6 4 before reaching agreement invent options for mutual gain
Ch. 6.4: Before Reaching Agreement, Invent Options for Mutual Gain

Marital conflict:

Joe wants to go to the mountains

Sue wants to go to the shore

WIN/WIN solution:

Go to lake Tahoe

ch 6 4 four steps to move from parties at conflict to win win
Ch. 6.4: Four Steps to Move from Parties-at-Conflict to Win/Win
  • Parties-at-conflict (p-a-c’s) enter negotiations knowing what they want
  • The interest negotiator spells out the “Substantive problem”
  • As the interest negotiator presents a variety of possible solutions that advance the mutual interest of the p-a-c’s, the p-a-c’s converge in their positions
  • 4. A win/win situation emerges
ch 6 4 key to finding a negotiator s interests and concerns
Ch. 6.4: Key to Finding a Negotiator’s Interests and Concerns

Ask “WHY?” when he or she states a position

ch 6 4 insist on using objective criteria
Ch. 6.4: Insist on Using Objective Criteria

Instead of bargaining on positions, try to find a standard


Our lofty friend, the FM, wants to use an expensive process to test a part

The cost conscious PM then asks if there is not a less expensive test to achieve the same result

ch 6 4 short bibliography on negotiating for the pm
Ch. 6.4: Short Bibliography on Negotiating for the PM
  • Wall, J.A., jr. “Negotiation: Theory and Practice” Glenview, Il. Scott, Foresman, 1985 – Excellent academic treatment of the subject
  • Fisher, R., and Ury, W. “Getting to Yes” Harmondsworth, Middlesex, G.B.: Penguin Books, 1983 – clear presentation of principled negotiations
  • Cohen, H. “You Can Negotiate Anything” Secaucus, N.J.: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1980 – outstanding guide to win-win negotiation
ch 6 4 tactical issues covered by most books on negotiations
Ch. 6.4: Tactical Issues Covered by Most Books on Negotiations
  • What to do if you want “win-win” but the other party wants “win-lose”
  • What to do if the other party is seating you so that bright lights shine into your eyes
  • What to do if the other party drags their feet so as to put you into a situation of extreme time pressure to accept whatever solution they offer(continued on next slide)
ch 6 4 tactical issues continued
Ch. 6.4: Tactical Issues …..(continued)
  • How to settle purely technical disputes
  • How to handle threats
  • Your pesky friend, the FM, tries to go over your head and attempts to enlist the aid of your boss to get you to accept an unsatisfactory solution
  • How to deal with a person that dislikes you (did I hear the word FM?)