Module 1 - Understanding Conflict


Managing Conflict in Agile Teams
What is Conflict?
Types of Conflict

The course is part of this learning path

What is Conflict?

Course Description 

This module looks at what a conflict is before investigating the different types of conflict and what they mean for an Agile team. 

Learning Objectives 

The objectives of this course are to provide you with and understanding of: 

  • What conflict is and the Scrum Master’s role in dealing with it. 
  • The differences between conflict, disputes and opposition. 
  • The common types of team conflict. 
  • How teams develop and how conflict can arise in an Agile context. 

Intended Audience 

The course is aimed at the Agile Scrum Master. However, it’s equally relevant to the Product Owner’s role in the team. 

Prerequisites of the Certifications 

There are no specific pre-requisites to study this course 


We welcome all feedback and suggestions - please contact us at to let us know what you think. 



Some people try to avoid it, some welcome it and others try to find ways to manage it. Whatever your perspective, conflict happens and is very common in high performing teams. 


Conflict (NOUN) 

A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one. 


Conflict (VERB) 

Be incompatible or at variance; clash. 


During this video, we’ll refer to conflict as antagonistic interactions which are used by someone to block the actions or decisions of somebody else. We’ve all seen it and most of us will have been involved in it. 


How does conflict arise? 

Conflict happens for many different reasons, things like: 

  • Misunderstanding job responsibilities or the requirements of a task; 

  • Lack of communication and feedback between team members; 

  • Disagreement about strategy or how team goals should be achieved; 

  • Individuals seeking personal recognition and being self-centered – often made worse in a blame culture; and 

  • Individuals fearing failure and or not feeling part of the team’s success. 


You can probably think of times when you’ve faced conflict – did you understand why it was happening? 


It’s not easy to take an objective view, especially if you’re involved in it. But it’s important to recognize that people are not often antagonistic because they want to be; it’s generally a defense mechanism to help them deal with a situation they’re faced with – a subconscious way of coping. 


But conflict tends to throw a team off its focus, and divert it from its goals and objectives. Team collaboration is a primary focus of Agile and bringing conflicts out into the open where they can be resolved is an important part of the team leader and Scrum Masters role. They need to intervene to help the team move from conflict to constructive disagreement so they can develop to a state of high performance. 

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tony has over 20 years’ experience in Business Development, Business Change, Consulting, and Project/Program Management working with public, private, and third sector organizations.

He has helped organizations to design and create processes and procedures to align ways of working with corporate strategy. A highly motivated and detailed solution provider, utilizing a wide range of methods and frameworks to provide structure whilst promoting creativity and innovation.

As a confident and self-motivated professional with excellent communication skills, Tony is able to bring people together and get them working as a team quickly.

Tony is an Agile and Scrum trainer with a vast knowledge spanning IT Systems, Business Change, Program and Project Management. With excellent presentation skills and a solid background, he ensures that all clients gain maximum benefit from his training. He has successfully guided those new to the industry through their initial training, helped experienced staff as they progress in their careers, and worked at the director level advising on best use and practice, as well as tailoring courses to fulfil the exact needs of clients.