Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Cultural Projects

With the prior principles understood, let's review a few proven tips and techniques specific to leading cross-cultural projects that I have either confirmed or realized over the years. Keep in mind that a project does not need to be global in nature to be a cross-cultural project. Many times, projects with stakeholders from different parts of the US can qualify as cross-cultural projects too, especially if the project touches a combination of the distinct regions (such as Northeast, Midwest, South, Texas, and West coast).

  • Be respectful Take time to consider the impact that the different cultures, time zones, holiday schedules, and work day schedules will have on the project. Common impact areas are terminology, risk management, communications planning (including best times for status meetings), and the project schedule.
  • Potential culture impacts Understand potential culture impacts on project communications and team interactions. Specifically, be aware that due to cultural differences, others may not be as assertive or willing to speak up to the degree you would expect. In addition, review any conventions that you plan to use for status reporting. Make sure the conventions do not convey some unintended meaning and that everyone is comfortable using them.
  • Listen for understanding Even with a common language (in most cases, English), the use and the sound of the language can vary dramatically. The key here is to kick your active listening skills into high gear and focus in on understanding. Don't let yourself get distracted or tune out because of accents or the irregular use of certain words. Stay engaged, be patient, ask questions, clarify terms, and don't stop until you are comfortable that you're on the same wavelength with your cross-cultural partners.
  • Plan on more formality In order to reduce the impact of cultural differences and to ensure mutual understanding, cross-cultural projects tend to be more mechanical, formal, and by-the-book. You just need to plan on this and realize that project management shortcuts are not as likely in these environments.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project



Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
EAN: N/A
Year: 2006
Pages: 169

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