The most prominent way to resolve conflict in agile teams is first to normalize it. Conflicts are often wrongly looked upon as threats to the product. It should be discouraged by the agile project leader and the other team members.

Extra effort is needed to address the conflict in the right manner. The process of resolving should stay constructive throughout, and each team member’s contribution should appreciate. The differences between the members should get discussed with a light heart.

The team should undertake a certain format to resolve the conflict by procuring maximum benefit. There are also a few team practices that should not be undertaken. This read will help you learn both.

Who Resolves Conflict In Agile

Ideally, no single person should be held solely responsible for resolving conflict in agile. The conflict resolution should be the entire team’s task and expected to be get approached collaboratively.

On the technical aspect, the scrum master plays a vital role in mentoring the development team. If the development team determines the origin of the conflict, they might also try to resolve it. It gets done under the supervision of the scrum master if it gets escalated as an impediment.

Often, a situation arises where the scrum team members fail to interact with honesty and openness due to prevailing disagreements. Therefore, the scrum master should be actively present during the resolution process to initiate the discussion. Their job is limited to educating the agile team in the scrum but also to ensure smooth functioning.

How To Resolve Conflict In Agile

Agile Conflict Resolution

When a conflict arises due to multiple dysfunctional characteristics, doing it all at once is not recommended. A precise breakdown of events to be practiced by the agile team will eventually lead to a positive result. Five such events are discussed below.

Take An Initiative: During a conflict, team members often struggle to put forward their opinion. It could be because of the fear of their feedback backfiring on them. Personal rivalries between the members could be another reason.

The project leader is expected to take the initiative in the discussion to overcome such issues. They should be straightforward and polite while breaking the ice. The team will open up once they consider themselves to be in a secured position.

Identify The Problem: The next step is quite obvious and is to identify the problem. Each team member should get a fair chance to raise their opinions. The problem should be viewed through multiple perspectives with team cooperation.

It should be the responsibility of the project leader to ensure a fair code of conduct. The unnecessary interruption should be barred. Once all the positives and negatives are aligned on the table, they should move onto the further step.

Learn Why Did The Problem Arise Now, this could be the most crucial step in the entire process. The reason why the problem caused is difficult yet essential to be discussed. Again, everyone should get heard with open ears. The team members could be seen to disagree with each other’s beliefs. It can be presumed that the team might form two or more alliances.

The fundamental solution to perceive here is to educate the team members about their ultimate goal. The conflict’s origin doesn’t matter, but there should be a common goal to be achieved by the team. It could be nothing but the success of the project. The project leader should always remind the team of their goal. It will develop a sense of compatibility within them as they are all leading to the same destination.

Find A Way To Overcome The Problem: Once the problem gets addressed, a detailed set of solutions expected to come from the team. Collectively speaking, listening, understanding, and responding will result in a positive outcome. The problems that seem small and less complicated can get quickly eliminated at the beginning of the discussion. This way, the team will start to feel accomplished itself at the beginning. It will also help in increasing their productivity. More significant issues can get discussed right in the end.

Conclude The Discussion And Distribute Tasks: This step is often wrongly performed in a rushed manner by the team. The entire discussion will eventually come out to be worthless if it is not appropriately concluded. It should be the project leader’s duty to briefly repeat the problems and relevant solutions that were addressed during the meeting.

Also, the responsibility of each team member should be spoken aloud by them. A small doubt session that will resolve any residual confusion could even get added.

Final Wrap-Up

A conflict can get classified as easy, intermediate, and complex. It depends on the degree of disagreement and resistance towards a collateral solution by the team members.

If not resolved at an early stage, conflict in Agile can negatively impact the final version at the end of the project. Therefore, mutual consent on a detailed solution should get perceived as quickly as possible.

Author's Bio

We are a team of Professional Scrum Trainers (PST) and Enterprise Agile coaches actively working as Scrum Trainers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters/Product Owners aimed at delivering quality and consistency for our students across the globe.