Posts Tagged ‘international’

When Projects turn to a Tower of Babel

November 7, 2016

Different countries, multiple languages, global organizations…The challenge of international projects

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In this day and age, international teams and projects affect most companies; and they can often be a source of headaches for project managers. They must be managed from different countries and in multiple languages.

Needless to say, international projects prove to be strategic for companies that wish to remain competitive. So, how can you manage international projects when it’s already difficult enough to carry them out locally?

By following a few basic rules, an international project is no more complicated than any other. Like all projects, two things are essential: planning and organizing.

A Tower of Babel

The biggest challenge for international projects is communication. It’s much easier to exchange with colleagues face-to-face. But since this isn’t always possible, a communication strategy needs to be put into place.

Poor communication can result in distortion, delays, or worse, a complete loss of information. This miscommunication can be fatal to a project and its trajectory.

Errors can often be attributed to a lack of communication or insufficient documentation tools. Some tools are simply not suitable for geographically disparate teams. The unorganized distribution and sharing of information via emails and document attachments, makes collaboration very difficult for the various stakeholders. And monitoring project progress, issues and processes without interruption, becomes almost impossible. To address these problems, international project teams use a communication and project management platform. This platform enables them to gather information and to work in close enough proximity to “normal” conditions, ie. managing a project team that’s in the same office.

During the establishment of a communication strategy, we recommend considering the following:

Distance:

Multinational projects involve teams and stakeholders who are geographically separated and the personal relationship with employees is almost non-existent. From a strategic point of view, regular meetings tend to enable better collaboration and therefore, the ability to react more quickly to changes and issues. Nothing is more real for managers, stakeholders or team members than the personal exchanges they have with one another. This is why it’s important to plan meetings in person when it is possible.

Language:

Usually, global teams work in a multilingual environment. And the language barriers often lead to delayed, false or imprecise information. It’s therefore essential to define a general language for communication.

Corporate Culture:

Teams located around the globe can have different management styles and ways of working. It’s important to communicate these cultural differences. This will improve team productivity for leaders and stakeholders, in order to have the right expectations when problems occur.

Time Zones:

Working with an international team requires coordinating activities across multiple time zones. Project managers must develop a strategy for providing regular meetings to communicate with certain team members of that time-zone. This way, objectives will be reported in every region. In addition, team embers can serve as informants and provide feedback to global leaders.

Access to information:

Ensuring access to relevant information for an international team is more complex for global projects. Especially since going into the office to ask a colleague a question isn’t an option! That’s why it’s important to establish specific processes, such as, documenting the details of the project and ensuring that important information is accessible to all. Quick access to information is essential for the effective management and success of a project.

As we’ve seen, international projects are subject to unique challenges in terms of communication and decision-making. It’s necessary for organizations to consider solutions to deliver projects on time and ensure customer satisfaction, despite the geographical distance of the team. Documentation and communication are essential factors. Genius Project provides a tool for document sharing, archiving, annotation and commenting on documents. The software takes the role of the connector and centralizes information. There’s no need to request the latest version of a document from colleagues who won’t be responding until the following day. The information is in good hands and the project can move forward at any time!

 

For more information on Genius Project you can visit Genius Project ‘s website.

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Leading Successful PMOs now available on Kindle

September 7, 2012

Leading Successful PMOs – Peter Taylor

Many organizations profit hugely by utilizing a Project Management Office (PMO), it means they achieve benefits from standardizing and following project management policies, processes, and methods. However, building an effective PMO is a complex process; it requires clear vision and strong leadership so that, over time, it will become the source for guidance, documentation, and metrics related to the practices involved in managing and implementing projects.

Leading Successful PMOs will guide all project based organisations, and project managers who contribute to and benefit from a PMO, towards maximising their project success. In it, Peter Taylor outlines the basics of setting up a PMO and clearly explains how to ensure it will do exactly what you need it to do – the right things, in the right way, in the right order, with the right team.

With a foreword by Chris Walters, Chairman of the PMOSIG, where he states ‘Peter’s book breaks new ground in looking at the leadership of PMOs’ and ‘This book reflects on PMO leadership topics based on Peter’s extensive experience in inventing and reinventing PMO functions in fast moving organisations. If you need a PMO (which you do, if you deliver projects) and you really care about your business (which I also assume you do), then you need a strong PMO leader. Reading this book will give you a fantastic vision for the role and the person that would fill it’.

US Amazon Leading Successful PMOs

UK Amazon  Leading Successful PMOs

And check out my tour delivering the workshop based on Leading Successful PMOs in Singapore, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne  One Day Workshop