Harvard University Agile Coach Conflict Resolution Techniques Paper

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Computer Science

Harvard University


- Computer Science

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Double spacing

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Number of pages:
4 pages

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3 sources

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The following resources may be helpful when completing this assignment:

“Handling Conflict on Agile Teams: What to Do When a Team Member Complains” (You may also view the article at http://www.agilejournal.com/articles/columns/articles/892-handling-conflict-on-agile-teams-what-to-do-when-a-team-member-complains.)
“Unsolvable Conflict on Agile Teams” (You may also view the article at http://www.agilejournal.com/articles/columns/articles/888-unsolvable-conflict-on-agile-teams.)
Determining how to build a high-performing agile team, while managing conflicts, is a considerable task for any agile coach. In this assignment, you are asked to explore and discuss various conflict resolution methods and determine when and how to use them as an agile coach. You must discuss the techniques in the context of an agile project team environment with various scenarios, and must also demonstrate approaches to turning the high-contention situations into high-collaboration situations.

For example, the project team has consistently encountered changes of scope by the product owner. The QA team also emailed the whole team on how poorly the developers have done in their coding. The developers escalated to their manager about the documentation errors from the architects.

Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

Identify and evaluate at least three (3) conflict resolution techniques that can be used by the agile coach to change the dynamics of the team in the example provided.
Speculate on two (2) common causes of conflicts in teams. Suggest two (2) approaches that agile coaches can take in order to mitigate or prevent these conflicts.
Analyze the major pros and cons of two (2) conflict resolution techniques. Determine at least three (3) different situations (e.g., levels of conflicts) where these conflict resolution techniques would be useful.
Suggest at least three (3) strategies where an agile coach can use conflict to propel team members to achieve higher performance.
Recommend at least five (5) best practices for collaboration and cooperation within agile teams. Support each best practice recommendation with one (1) example of collaboration within agile teams.
Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do not qualify as quality resources. You may use the resources above or others of your choosing.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

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Conflict resolution
Student’s Name
Lecturer’s Name
Institution’s Name



Conflict resolution techniques
A disagreement amid two opposing ideas is what is called conflict. Conflicts normally arise
when people with similar interests differ in their opinions. Causes of conflicts include one having
a bad day, poor communication, power struggle, and intergroup competition. Conflict resolution
is key when conflict arises. The technique used to solve the conflict depends on the conflict and
its nature. For the agile coach to change the dynamics of the team experiencing the conflict, below
are the techniques that can be used.
The first step of conflict resolution is accepting the conflict itself. The agile coach,
therefore, needs to accept the conflicts immediately he sees the signs (Wandberg, 2017). The agile
coach then will need to discuss the conflict with the rest of the team members since it affects them.
The worrying team members should release their hard opinions and come to a middle ground with
the agile coach. Communication at this point is important and everyone should open up. The power
struggle is best resolved with this technique. The agile coach should play a middle ground role to
resolve the conflict having all the team members.
The agile coach should take the first role of discussing with the worrying parties. The agile
coach should give each party a humble time to air out their grievances. The agile coach then could
come up with a concrete idea that will form the middle ground for the conflicting parties. Perhaps,
a team member who complains about the developer who broke the building means that the
developer and team member are in conflict (Wandberg, 2017). This matter is made worse by team
members seeing the developer as being selfish and is to be voted out. The agile coach should
approach the matter with a lot of wisdom since the rest of the team members are against one. This



can be achieved by the coach getting middle ground for all conflicting parties and finding a lasting
solution to all. Good conflict resolution ensures everyone is satisfied.
The forcing technique is the final technique. When it is difficult to come to a common
ground the agile coach may consider enforcing an idea that is fair to all the conflicting parties.
From this point, the agile coach may set rules that will ensure that in future no cases of similar
conflict arises. The advantage of this technique is that a fairground is reached without fear or favor.
This technique is best to fight conflicts.
Common causes of conflicts in teams
An individual's behavior is the main cause of conflicts in a team in which team members
differ in opinions. This paper seeks to explain the causes of conflicts and possible approaches that
can be made by the agile coach to mitigate the conflicts.
Poor communication: Good communication is important for team members to connect and
agree. In the event of poor communication, a message can be misunderstood and this may lead to
conflicts. The reason is that poor communication leaves gaps which can lead to wrong
assumptions. The agile coach needs to train team members on how to communicate so that they
can be able to relate well.
Competition: In a team, members are always working and competing on who is the best. This
can be in terms of leadership. This will lead to conflicts as some will lose and others will win. The
agile coaches should always promote the culture of equality where everyone works to achieve the
goals of the team not that of the individual (Jacob Bercovitch, 2017). Team members should
appreciate the effort of others and always learn that they complement each other. Once the
competition is eliminated, conflict is avoided to a higher degree.



Pros and cons of a conflict resolution technique
In case of conflicts, conflict resolution is important to enhance harmony among team members
for a better working environment (Cheldelin, 2014). Some team members will however not feel
okay after conflict resolution but just agree with the resolution for the sake of peace. We, therefore,
explore the pros and cons of different resolution techniques.
Compromising technique: The worrying parties may not be comfortable with the solution
that has been reached but just compromise for the sake of peace. The pros are that it saves time, it
is a win-win for the conflicting parties as all the parties are treated equally. The disadvantage is
that the resolution may not last for long as one party may feel left out in the resolution process. In
the long run, trust issues may arise in the members who took part in the resolution process.
Cooperating technique: Cooperating as team members in every situation affecting the team
is important. This can be very paramount in the conflict resolution process. Once this culture is
cultivated, the worrying parties will always find a solution to their differences. The pros for this
technique include win-win for both parties, Res...

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