Who Would Manage Conflict Between Teams in SAFe and How Would They Do that Effectively?

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Nader Talai

In any organisation and team, conflict is inevitable when you are working with people from different disciplines, departments, cultures and social backgrounds. Managing conflict between teams in SAFe has therefore become a hot topic and with that being said, it is important to point out that conflict is in fact healthy. And that is not to say that there should be conflict but there are some potential benefits of conflict arising such as the meeting of different perspectives, ways of thinking and approaching solutions. Conflict becomes unhealthy when we are just saying “no” for the sake of it and there is no real meaningful difference of opinion.  

Conflict Should Be Meaningful  

As stated above, conflict should have an impact and shouldn’t just be there for the sake of it. Facilitating conflict that results in growth and development is important but you need a good leader to foster this within an organisation and team. Having an effective Scrum Coach or Team Coach could help guide this direction by establishing a working agreement on how to manage and approach such conflict.  
So one way to look at the working agreement of dealing with conflict is to see it as a living document that we create once and follow it for all future references and situations. This is where we place our core values and principles that we get from the SAFe core values.  

And once we have our team agreement values and principles, when dealing with conflict we can measure whether particular behaviour is misaligned with our working agreement and values. Once misalignment has been identified, this is where intervention can begin. In SAFe, the Scrum Master or Team Coach will typically work with the teams at the Agile Release Train level to surface these conflicts, understand whether they are due to differences of perspectives or misalignment of values and principles.  

From there the Scrum Master or Team Coach can begin to have the conversation and dialogue that they need to address the conflict. One of the tools and techniques that I have found to be most effective is the Evaporating Cloud Technique. This is a tool that helps teams resolve conflict peacefully while making sure that needs of both sides are met.  

The core foundation of this technique rests on the premise that:  

 ðŸš€ People have different assumptions.                                                                                                                            

🚀 People have the same goal but differ in how to approach it.  

Once we can understand the various assumptions and perspectives that people have towards a particular goal, the Scrum Master/Team Coach can begin to mediate ways to meet a middle ground. So in a way you could say that when resolving conflict within SAFe, it is preferred to approach it from a centrist perspective instead of leaning too far on either side.  

Approaching and resolving conflict in this way helps to:  

🚀 Encourage transparency and collaboration.                                                                                                            

🚀 Increase 🚀 employee satisfaction.                                                                                                                                   

🚀 Boost productivity.                                                                                                                                                         

🚀 Inspire innovation and proactiveness.  


Interested to learn more?  

At Value Glide, through the application of  SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), we are able to offer agile consulting, agile coaching, and agile training specialists who work with organisations to align business objectives with customer needs and wants. 

As deeply experienced agile coaches and practitioners, our team is invested in continuous learning through each client engagement and uses the data and evidence we gather from each implementation to inform our training, coaching, and consulting services. 

In a nutshell, empirical process control or empiricism.  

If you are thinking of adopting agile within your organisation and have identified SAFe as a great agile framework to adopt, implement and improve your business agility, visit our SAFe Quickstart ART Launch program page or view our SAFe Consulting Services page. 

If you have identified a need for an agile coach and SAFe coach to help your organisation adopt and implement SAFe, visit our SAFe Coaching Services page. We are committed to equipping organisations with the tools and knowledge to thrive in this ever-changing digital age, and achieve business agility through the Scaled Agile Framework.  

Sounds good to you? Then sign-up today, and learn more about this transformation and revolutionary framework that is changing the game in the world of Agile. It is truly remarkable what can be done when we put our heads together and decide to work as one. 

If you want to know more about SAFe and how to lead SAFe, visit our SAFE Training page for a host of options, from Leading SAFe to a SAFe Release Train Engineer course. 

#SAFe #scaledagileframework #scalingagile #agile #agileframework #agilecoach 

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