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ACCA P3 考试:Conflict management and the accountant as project manager
Project management is a critically important activity for most organisations in increasingly turbulent times. Organisations have to manage significant change initiatives with respect to new product introductions, technology upgrades and revision of working practices as a result of business process re-engineering evaluations.
The significance of this topic is recognised in Paper P3, Business Analysis with an entire section devoted to project management issues. Given the multipleconstraints of scope, time and cost (Section F1 b), which must be reconciled by a project manager, there are many areas of potential conflict that can threaten the success of a project. Setting the scope of a project is a key activity for the project manager at the outset as different parties will have different priorities for a project.
Managing the potential external conflict between stakeholders requires high order negotiating skills to ensure that there is effective commitment to the project. Ensuring that projects are delivered on time and within budget will require the project manager to be able to identify and manage internal (team) conflict (Section F3 c and d) that can arise when projects extend over lengthy periods of time and where team members have potentially conflicting demands to satisfy.
Accountants in their role as department/section managers, or in the specific role of project manager, need to be skilled at managing conflict. It is widely accepted that an effective manager must use a mix of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills to promote team working to achieve desired outcomes. Mintzberg’s (1973) classification of 10 managerial roles is widely accepted as a useful framework for analysing managerial work. He grouped the 10 roles under the following three headings:
?Interpersonal roles: figurehead, leader, liaison
?Informational roles: monitor, disseminator, spokesman
?Decisional roles: entrepreneur, troubleshooter, resource allocator, negotiator.
Accountancy training is particularly strong in supporting the informational/ decisional roles while the interpersonal roles (plus negotiation) are more difficult to address in the context of conventional approaches to study and professional exams. Team leadership and relationship management, particularly learning how to use conflict to build a team rather than to tear it down, is a subtle skill that can be developed with observation and practice in everyday work situations. Observing how project teams work, and particularly the role of leader, is a very fruitful arena to consider such issues.