One of the major requirements for an agile project leader is the ability to identify conflicts and resolve them at the soonest. In agile, conflict is referred in two variations. Firstly, conflict indicates that the agile team is feeling free to voice their opinions and the differences and issues taking place within the agile team. Secondly, if the conflict is not resolved instantly by the agile team members it can create problems affecting the wider interests of the project. Based on the intensity level, conflict in agile is classified into five levels and termed as the five levels of agile conflict. The higher the conflict level, the more it becomes difficult for project leaders to resolve the issue with an amicable settlement.
Five levels of Agile Conflict:
- Agile conflict Level 1: In the level 1 of agile conflict, the agile team identifies the problem rising in the project. The team discusses and shares about the problem among the team members and also along with the agile project leader. This level of conflict is a constructive problem solving phase that is common to all high level agile projects.
- Agile conflict Level 2: In level 2 of agile conflict, the conflict becomes a matter of disagreement among the agile team members. The agile team members begin to distance themselves from each other. Due to various problems they stop taking the initiative for resolving the conflict. Although this level doesn’t witness an open war but all the team members ideally wait for some other to enter and resolve the conflict.
- Agile conflict Level 3: In level 3 of agile conflict, multiple problems left unresolved causes difficult positions inside the agile team. Different groups within the same team are build up and every agile team member stand supporting on one or the other group. In that case the conflict becomes like a contest and more than resolving the issue the focus is more highlighted on winning rather than compromising.
- Agile conflict Level 4: In level 4 of agile conflict the contest becomes a crusade. In this level the groups started thinking that the other group will never change and therefore must be decimated. Positions get replaced and the only focus is on protecting one’s belonging group.
- Agile conflict Level 5: In level 5 of agile conflict, the conflict becomes a war where no solution seems to be arising. Here, it literally heads to complete destruction by mutual consent. This is the highest difficulty level of agile conflict.
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Agile Conflict Resolution:
An agile project leader should understand the level of agile conflict and take necessary steps based on the difficulty level. Here are some ways of agile conflict resolution that an agile project leader needs to follow against the different levels of agile conflict.
- At agile conflict level 1, one must focus on collaboration and consensus. The team is in a constructive discussion and all they need is encouragement and a push to make them try towards attaining a solution for the problem. The agile project leader should make sure that each team member is heard and respected throughout the discussion process.
- At agile conflict level 2, the team should be brought together for a discussion. In this level there is willingness to discuss and resolve the problem and therefore the team should be supported to come ahead as they will not do so of their own.
- At agile conflict level 3, one must need to involve the team in some give and take and start discussions. One must make sure that personal rivalries take a back seat and everyone negotiates for an open discussion.
- At agile conflict level 4, shuttle diplomacy is required. Here the level of conflict is higher and therefore bringing both the groups together for a discussion is not possible. One needs to take both the teams separate and try to resolve the differences before letting them for a table discussion.
- At agile conflict level 5, the collateral damage is fixed. Only thing that one can do in this conflict level is to try and limit the damage.
These are the five levels of conflict in agile and the ways following which agile project leader can resolve the conflict. To know more about agile leadership and agile practices, you can join Simplilearn’s PMI-ACP online training. You can also attend agile certification classroom training for better insights in agile training. Know the upcoming dates of agile certification training in your city.