For every construction project, there is a plan and a goal; however, many projects experience the common types of conflict in project management. It’s the project managers job to prevent or resolve these obstacles as fast and as efficiently as possible. The ability to solve conflicts is essential for a project manager. To solve conflicts, a project manager must understand the types of conflict in project management. 5 of the types of conflict in project management are the vision of the project, group differences, lack of communication, poor leadership, and disagreement on conflicts.
In an ideal construction project, everyone has the same vision for the project as the client or project manager. Everyone should be working towards the same goal of making the client happy. This type of conflict arises when workers have different ideas for the overall construction project. People will always have their own opinions. Teams may think that they need extra materials while some argue that there are enough materials to finish the job. Out of the 5 types of conflict in project management, differences in project vision don’t happen too often, but they can still cause problems while on the construction site.
Construction is all about teamwork. You need to have workers that are knowledgeable enough to make their own judgments and are team-oriented for the sake of the project. Group differences, one of the 5 types of conflict in project management, can happen when two different groups of workers don’t work efficiently due to their differences. Workers that can’t be team players and get along with their fellow construction workers make construction work a lot harder than it needs to be.
Workers with group differences will slow down the flow of the construction project. Whether there are communication problems or a difference in personality, workers have to overcome their differences for the benefit of the project. Workers that get along, work as a team, and set aside their differences will always finish a construction project faster and more efficiently than those who don’t.
Lack of Communication
Out of the 5 types of conflict in project management, a lack of communication can be the most costly for people working in construction. By far, a lack of communication will do the most damage to a construction project. Giving wrong or unclear instructions can set a project back. As a project manager, you have to communicate with each worker what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how they should go about completing it. A project manager that fails to communicate in a clear way will set up the project for failure.
A lack of communication can delay a project by a lot of time and will increase costs as a result. Communicating with your workers is crucial. It gives the project manager the ability to oversee how the project is developing and also gives them insight on some of the problems happening onsite.
As a project manager, you need to have the ability to lead your workers towards a finished project. You need to be able to hand out instructions that are very clear and need to supervise the progress of the project to make sure everything is going smoothly. A great project manager can bring out the best in any employee and will complete a project either on time or ahead of schedule. These are the qualities of a great leader, but what type of conflict occurs when there’s poor leadership?
Poor leadership can happen when a construction manager is not performing at an optimal level and is slowing down the progress of the project. When there is poor leadership, problems such as time constraints, unclear instructions, and confusion about worker roles occur. These problems slow down the pace of the project and increase the overall costs. Compared to a lack of communication, poor leadership is just as bad, if not the worst conflict to have out of the 5 types of conflict in project management.
When there are conflicts on the construction site, people should work together to come up with possible solutions. Working together usually solves the initial conflict, but if there are differing opinions on the solution another conflict can be born. This conflict is the disagreement on what to do about the initial problem. Out of the 5 types of conflict in project management, conflict disagreements don’t happen too often, but when they do they can delay a project for a decent amount of time. It can also create bad blood between workers who get too emotionally involved. It’s crucial that you solve this conflict quickly for the sake of your project.
These 5 types of conflict in project management can really hurt your construction work. The goal of every project manager should be to complete a project without any problems. In the case that they do happen, the project manager should be competent enough to solve these issues quickly. Avoiding these conflicts will make working on a construction project much more efficient.
Arya Hojati is a content marketing intern at eSUB. He is currently a student at San Diego State University pursuing a bachelor’s in Marketing.