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Resource Conflicts And Solution In Agile Project Management

Resource Conflicts Explained How Agile Project Management Resolves Them, Project Management Blog
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Agile Project Management helps when your team has developed evolving needs and wants to rapidly deliver the project.

The traditional method, mostly known as the Waterfall methodology, fails to keep up with the requirements change.

On one hand, Agile Methodology is about iterative planning whereas, on the other hand, Waterfall is about sequential planning.

In software development companies there are constant requirements changes.

So a method that is based on continuous planning and feedback through the process will deliver the business value right from the start.

It has a few benefits, let us walk you through it

Testing is integrated throughout the production cycle. Regular testing ensures the product is working through the development and helps resolve issues if any.

  • Meeting Customer’s needs

User interaction is encouraged. The product owner is present every step of the way in the progress of development. His feedback and involvement are essential to delivering the right product.

  • Chances of risk are reduced

From the beginning of the project, in the very first sprint, you have a working product. This eliminates the chances of complete project failure.

  • Seamless collaboration

Everyone is on the same page regarding the project, the scrum master, the product owner, and the development team. Daily scrum meetings identify the work that is done, the work to be done, and the issues.

  • Prevents resource conflicts

With ever-changing goals, your team can miss deadlines, and it could lead to project failure. But agile project management can prevent chaos in your workflow process and remove resource conflict.

When a project manager needs a scarce resource, and there is insufficient capacity to allow all demands on that resource to be met, it is called a resource conflict.

When it happens, you ought to ask yourself a few questions to gain much-needed clarity about the problem.

  • Is the resource spread out too thin?
  • Or is he having trouble prioritizing projects?
  • Do other resources have his skill??
  • Are they available?
  • Can you distribute the tasks?
  • If you can’t solve it, can a higher-level of project manager do it?
  • What is the time you need to solve the conflict?

17% of the projects fail due to poor resource management, according to PMI 

Project Fall, Project Management Blog

Proper resource planning can be done with the help of robust project management software.

It helps with planning, analysis, and forecasting. 

It can also increase your project success rate exponentially.

“Even though only 22% of the organizations use PM software, 77% of high-performing projects use project management software.- Wellington’s survey” 

If you want success, you need to use agile project management to prevent resource conflict.

Here is how it solves the conflicts

1. Optimal use of Resources

Efficient resource management involves planning, allocation, and efficient resource utilization.

It makes sure you are making proper use of the resources available to you. It also guarantees that your team isn’t underperforming or your staff isn’t overburdened.

Happy resources to perform to their fullest.

Resource Utilization can be Effective only when Resource Allocation is on Point. 

A project manager picks the resource for a particular task based on his skills and availability.

He checks whether the resource is free enough to take on the task.

Project management software provides you with features like – Resource Availability and Resource Utilization to ease your resource management process.

It helps you analyze whether your resources are over-utilized or under-utilized.

You can check the productivity of a resource by comparing his estimated hours with actual hours spent. 

Resource Availability, Project Management Blog

You can also check whether a resource is available for a particular task with the resource availability feature. A resource availability chart maps out the time a resource can invest.

It shows you whether he is available for the task, overloaded, or on leave. If a resource is booked for 8 hours of tasks for that day, then when you assign a task he is on task overload.

Resource Utilization, Project Management Blog

If a resource is spread out too thin, you can assign tasks to someone else or you can distribute the task among team members.

This way you can complete the task on time without overtaxing the resources. The benefits don’t end here.

Here are some more advantages of using resource availability.

  • Heightened collaboration and team understanding.
  • Awareness of task dependencies
  • Enhanced clarity on project progress
  • Team members are on top of their schedule
  • Easy and timely delivery of projects

2. Transparent Communication

Project management becomes a piece of cake when all the information and all the team members are on a single platform.

A common chart listing the availability of all team members gives everyone clarity for future project progress.

It prevents resource conflicts because resource allocation becomes easy.

The PM needs to choose a specific member for a task with relevant skills, who is available at the said time.

When all these lengthy processes become automated through software, this saves a lot of time and there is a better alignment on business objectives.

3. Conflict Prevention Saves Time

Team and time are two critical resources. You do not want to waste any.

Agile project management can solve resource conflicts and save time.

The daily catch-up ritual is something to be followed ardently by the team.

You know where your project stands, and where it has to go, and you decide which route to take to reach the fastest.

Here is a simple example describing how agile project management prevents resource conflicts.

Our team had to publish five milestone contents within a week. But we are a team of 3, Rachel is booked for the week, and so is Tina. It’s only Rory who is available for the task.

But our content head knew that 5 for 1 is an unbalanced ratio. The unavailability of other team members took a toll on productivity.

So he took the matter into his hands and tried solving the resource conflict. He reallocated the tasks to Tina and Rachel. Tina had 1 milestone content, Rachel had 2 milestone content and Rory had 3 milestone content to deal with.

He reassigned the task priorities and saved the pending tasks for next week.

Even though the resources weren’t completely available, he knew how to re-prioritize and deliver the immediate results important for the project.

Agile project management gives you increased control over the project and helps you to adapt according to the change. What does a Project manager learn from it?

  • You learn how to be more accommodating
  • You become adaptable
  • Become a master at re-prioritizing
  • How to hit relevant and immediate goals
  • How to manage resources
  • Prevent project delays

Resource conflicts can be prevented by resource management components like availability and allocation. Agile project management is all about continuous planning and adapting. It is flexible enough to handle conflicts and does not fall back on progress.

Top Stats and Trends About Resource Allocation in Project Development

  1. According to a survey conducted by PMI (Project Management Institute), 33% of projects fail due to poor resource allocation, emphasizing the critical role it plays in project success.
  2. A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that only 10% of companies feel confident that their resource allocation decisions align with their strategy and deliver the best results.
  3. Resource overallocation is a widespread issue, with a study from Planview showing that 53% of organizations experience resource overutilization, leading to burnout and decreased productivity.
  4. Agile project management’s adoption has seen significant growth, with 71% of organizations using or considering agile methodologies for resource allocation and project development.
  5. Despite the growing popularity of agile, 45% of organizations still struggle with resource allocation challenges, indicating the need for more effective resource management strategies.
  6. According to the Standish Group’s CHAOS Report, 23% of project failures occur due to resource conflicts and misallocation, making it a critical factor in project execution.
  7. In a study conducted by Gartner, 55% of organizations cited resource management as a top challenge in project development, affecting project timelines and deliverables.
  8. The construction industry faces resource allocation issues, with a study from FMI Corporation indicating that only 31% of construction projects are completed within the originally allocated budget.
  9. In the IT sector, ineffective resource allocation leads to project delays, with a study by Geneca showing that 75% of IT executives believe their projects are always or usually doomed right from the start due to resource constraints.
  10. Efficient resource allocation directly impacts profitability, as stated in a report by The Boston Consulting Group. Companies that effectively allocate resources are up to 2.5 times more likely to have above-average profitability compared to their competitors.

Causes of Resource Allocation Conflicts in Agile Projects:

  • Overbooking of Resources: Agile projects often have multiple tasks running simultaneously, leading to the potential overbooking of resources. This can result in team members being stretched thin and unable to meet project deadlines effectively.
  • Unclear Roles and Responsibilities: In the absence of well-defined roles and responsibilities, team members might find themselves unsure about their tasks, leading to confusion and inefficiencies.
  • Lack of Transparency: Poor communication and lack of visibility into team members’ availability can lead to unplanned assignments and overlaps, contributing to resource allocation conflicts.
  • Shifting Priorities: Agile projects are designed to accommodate changing requirements, but sudden shifts in priorities can disrupt resource allocation plans and create conflicts.
  • Skill Imbalance: Team members’ skills and expertise may not be optimally utilized, leading to underutilization or overburdening of certain resources.

Solutions to Address Resource Allocation Conflicts:

  • Effective Resource Management Tools: Invest in robust project management software that offers resource management capabilities. Such tools provide a centralized platform to track resource availability, allocate tasks, and monitor progress, reducing conflicts arising from communication gaps.
  • Capacity Planning: Perform capacity planning at the beginning of each sprint or iteration. This involves evaluating team members’ availability, skills, and estimated workload to ensure balanced resource allocation across tasks.
  • Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Ensure that every team member understands their role and responsibilities in the project. This clarity enables efficient task allocation and minimizes conflicts arising from ambiguity.
  • Regular Team Meetings and Stand-ups: Conduct daily stand-up meetings to discuss ongoing tasks, progress, and any potential resource allocation conflicts. Encourage open communication, allowing team members to voice their concerns and identify potential bottlenecks.
  • Continuous Feedback and Adaptation: Agile projects thrive on continuous improvement. Encourage regular feedback sessions and retrospectives to identify areas of improvement in resource allocation and adapt accordingly.
  • Cross-Functional Teams: Create cross-functional teams where team members possess diverse skills and can step in for each other when necessary. This approach ensures better resource utilization and minimizes conflicts during busy periods.
  • Prioritization and Timeboxing: Work with stakeholders to prioritize tasks based on business value and timebox them to fixed durations. This approach helps manage shifting priorities and enables better resource allocation planning.


Resource allocation conflicts are common in agile project development due to the dynamic nature of these projects. However, by adopting proactive resource management practices and fostering effective communication, organizations can mitigate these conflicts and ensure smooth project execution.

Agile project development allows teams to remain adaptable and responsive, making it an ideal approach to handle resource allocation challenges and deliver successful projects.

By implementing the solutions mentioned above, teams can harness the full potential of agile methodologies and achieve greater project success.

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