Conflict Management


In SDLC, a business analyst comes across requirement conflict and team conflict. The prime responsibility of managing conflict lies with the business analysts as they are the owner of the requirements and responsible for liaison between stakeholders of the project.

Conflict Management

A requirement must satisfy all the stakeholders’ needs. Each stakeholders’ expectation on the requirement may be in conflict. The nature of one requirement may be in conflict with another requirement. Example, the change requirement may be in conflict with the baseline requirement.

Conflicts are raised due to change in the present process/methods/techniques etc., In SDLC, requirement conflicts are raised due to change in the requirements. Changes are not easily accepted and results in conflicts as requirements are developed and reviewed by the different stakeholders.

Further, a single requirement is viewed by different stakeholders with different perspective. Different stakeholders may prioritise the same requirement differently and this results in conflict in prioritising the requirement.

Conflicts in requirements results in not obtaining sign off of requirement which will affect the project scope. When there is a conflict, all the parties involved in the conflict may be gathered by BA to resolve the conflict. Usually, conflicts are resolved by face to face meetings with the parties involved. Distance communication techniques like teleconferencing, etc., may be used where personal meetings are not possible. The conflict is discussed among the stakeholders to arrive at a resolution which is mutually agreed.

Requirement Issues log should be updated to document the issues and conflicts about requirements, if the resolution is significant to the project solution. The requirement issues log can be simple or comprehensive depends on the organisation’s policies.

Apart from requirement conflict, the BA should be able to handle-well team conflicts which are quite common in SDLC as different teams are involved in the process. Team conflicts are caused due to emotional and cognitive disagreements. A well-handled team conflict will result in increased understanding level between the teams and increased self-knowledge and mutual respect between members across the teams.

Conflict management involves significant amount of time as it requires research and discussions on the subject. This may affect the project scope. The BA should keep the project manager informed of the conflict identified and the progress of conflict management.

Conflict management can be defined as a five step process

Step 1: Identifying conflict.

Step 2: Finding out the details of the conflict identified.

Step 3: Identifying the root problem which has resulted in conflict.

Step 4: The possible solutions to the conflict should be checked.

Step 5: Negotiating the solution to come up with final resolution which is mutually agreed.


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