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Causes of Conflict in Project Management

Conflict in project management infographic

Infographic prepared for me by Click the graphic to see a larger version.

About Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth HarrinElizabeth Harrin FAPM is a professional project manager and award-winning blogger behind A Girl's Guide To Project Management. She's passionate about demystifying project management and making tools and techniques work in the real world. She's also the author of several books including the PMI bestseller, Collaboration Tools for Project Managers.
Elizabeth lives in the UK with her family. She uses her organisation and project management skills at home, and also to help other bloggers at Totally Organised Blogging.


  1. Hi Elizabeth, that’s a very sharp InfoGraphic, easy to quickly interpret.  Like Geoff with a G, I like these a lot also.  I  recently started mentioning InfoGraphics in my PMP classes. 
    Over here in the U.S., there’s a journalist named Charles M. Blow who is known for pioneering InfoGraphics on the OpEd page of the New York Times, where he frequently uses them to present data related to politics.  Your followers might like to see some of his InfoGraphics. 

    Since conflict management is part of the PMBOK, Andy Crowe has a diagram in his PMP prep book in his HR Chapter “A diagram showing the primary sources of conflict on a project” (p. 264). 

    • Hi Jeff
      I don’t have a copy of Andy’s book, but that sounds interesting as a comparison to this infographic. I’ll try to look it up. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Interesting infographic.  I’ve definitely experienced all of these at one point or another.  Usually a few all at once as they  are interrelated issues on projects that are not well managed.  

    • Managing a project well certainly cuts down on the conflict. I think when you experience several at the same time it must make the resolution part much harder! You would have to split out the causes and address each one individually.

  3. I’m a sucker for infographics so naturally I love this! 🙂 There’s a ton of good points in here, but I think most of them can be addressed at the start of a project relatively efficiently. It’s kind of telling about the state of project management that respondents chose miscommunication and lack of direction as the top two items.

    • I agree: communication is a huge issue on loads of projects, but however much you communicate you just know someone is going to say there wasn’t enough communication. Miscommunication is different from not enough, though. If you nip these causes in the bud early on in a project it could help, but I’m sure some of them will rise up again later on.


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