Navigating Competing Interests

After expectations have been identified, they need to be recorded and competing interests identified.


1.       Facilitate conflict resolution


You may become a mediator in the conflict resolution process. This involves talking to both sides to find out what they want and why – this is important because they may want something that could be achieved in an alternate way, and often people want to feel heard, even if no change is reached. Each side needs to be encouraged to compromise a little to reach a final solution.


2.       Prioritise Expectations


Often, there could be a large list of features that would be nice to have in a solution, but aren’t imperative to the company’s functioning. Prioritising expectations can help to identify those that are more important to fulfil. Working with the client, identify which expectations are necessary, and which would be nice to have. If there were conflicting interests, this may reveal which expectations should be met.


3.       Use Influence Mapping to help


Not all stakeholders hold equal weight. Although the best case scenario would result in all stakeholders kept happy, in the event that all attempts to reach a solution have failed thus far, use the influence map to identify which stakeholders should be kept happy. There may be an existing project governance structure, which identifies who makes the final decision.


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