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How to Mediate Disputes during an IT Project

What makes people great and unique is that they all think differently. However, this is also what causes relationships to be so complex. Sometimes people disagree and they need the help of mediation to get them back on the right track. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett discusses the importance of mediation during IT projects.

Peace in Our Time

During an IT project, there is the potential for breakdowns in communication; perhaps the IT project manager and the end user are not on the same page. The results could be a product that IT slaved over and the end user is ultimately displeased with. Proper communication is the only thing that can help to prevent this situation. Unfortunately, mediation is often not a skill taught in school, nor is it an aspect of a performance evaluation. According to Shacklett, there are three signs that should indicate to a person that they need to become a project mediator:

  1. An entire breakdown of communication amongst stakeholders
  2. Individuals not taking an active role in the project
  3. Evident resistance to the project

When problems like these arise, there are a few mediation tactics that can be used to help prevent the exacerbation of the problem. To begin with, when there are disagreements between key stakeholders, it is vital to take the time to mend the problems. Listening to all sides of the story will ultimately paint the best picture of the reality of the situation, and it can help to arrive at a fair compromise. Additionally, there should be continued follow-up with the people involved to ensure that things progress smoothly.

Just because IT is a technical field does not mean those involved do not need to have communication skills. Mediation is important, and sometimes necessary to save a project from entirely imploding. You can read the original article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-mediate-disputes-during-an-it-project/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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