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    Conflict Resolution Techniques for Business Analysts

    Written by:             Published on: May 2, 2018 12:00:00 AM

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    This is again another frequent request from most of my workshop participants. When BABoK has mentioned 50 techniques, why doesn’t it have a technique for conflict management?

    Conflicts are part of life and are inevitable. We should not avoid them.  Sometimes even conflicts can be helpful to identify scenarios that we did not anticipate in the beginning. As business analysts, we should have some techniques in our armor which would help us to resolve conflicts.

    Here is a good list of techniques that I used in my BA career spanning over 20+ years. I hope you will find them helpful. I would contribute to the techniques that you have used for resolving conflicts successfully.

    Rationale investigation

    Often stakeholders state something as their need.

    The real need can be quite different from the stated need. Investigate the rationale behind the conflict.

    Use this information to resolve the conflict.

    Discussion

    Make all conflicting parties discuss and negotiate a solution to the conflict.

    Encourage conflicting parties to exchange information, arguments, and opinions.

    Try to convince one another of each other’s viewpoints in order to reach an agreeable solution.

    Compromise

    Encourage conflicting parties to find a compromise between alternative solutions.

    In contrast to an agreement, a compromise consists of an amalgamation of different parts of alternative solutions.

    Also, a compromise can mean that all alternative solutions as proposed so far are discarded and entirely new solutions are creatively developed.

    BA Career Guide Cover - 3D - v2

     

    Voting

    Conduct voting among all conflict parties on solution alternatives.

    Present alternatives up for voting to all relevant stakeholders.

    Each stakeholder casts her vote for an alternative and the alternative with the most votes is accepted as the resolution for the conflict.

    Definition of variants

    Find a way to develop the system in a way that permits variants/alternatives.

    This way, the system can satisfy the different interests of stakeholders.

    This is indeed a great method that can be considered a win-win.

    Expert opinion

    Allow an external expert to choose the right option.

    Ensure the expert is unbiased with respect to the decision.

    Decision matrix

    Create a table that contains solution alternatives in columns and all relevant decision criteria in rows.

    Provide weight to evaluation criteria. Multiply weight with alternative performance rating.

    Calculate sums of columns in order to find a solution. Accept solution alternative with the highest score.

    Overruling

    If all other methods fail, request the sponsor to decide.

    This technique is only advisable if other resolution techniques have failed or are not applicable due to limitations of resources (e.g., time).

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