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METHODS OF MANAGING

DISPARATING INTERNATION
PROJECT TEAMS IN SUCCESSFUL
PROJECTS

TEAM MEMBERS

CONTENTS
I.

Introduction

II.

Definition of successful international projects

III.

Methods of managing disparate international


project team (DIPT)

IV.

Conclusion

V.

References

VI.

Q&A

INTRODUCTION
Globalization & Modernization
The need for using cross-functional and
multicultural teams on global projects

Disparate international projects involve


multiple locations, entities, organizations and
business units (Lientz and Rea, 2003)
Global teams are those formed by individuals of different
nationalities, working in different cultures and
organizations, who gather, in a given period of time, to
coordinate some aspect of multinational operation on a
global basis (Govindarajan and Gupta, 2011)

INTRODUCTION (cont.)

Challenges in managing such teams:


Culture
Language and communication
Political system
Legal and regulatory system
Finances (currency, taxes)
Infrastructure
Time zone difference
Organizational structure

A need for appropriate methods of management

INTRODUCTION (cont.)
Investigating DIPT management methods in terms of 5
aspects:
Planning
Human
Communication
Technology
Risk management
Based on both project managers and team
members perspective

OVERVIEW OF SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

Success criteria are the set of principles or standards by which project


success can be judged whereas success factors are the set of circumstances,
facts, or influences which contribute to the project outcomes (Lim and
Mohammed, 1999)
Iron Triangle dimensions of time, budget and specifications feature
(quality) (Blaney, 1989)
Dimensions such as the quality of the project management process and the
satisfaction of the project stakeholders expectations also need to be
considered (Baccarini, 1999)
Andersen and Jessen (2000) attempted to assess project success with respect
to the task- and people-oriented aspects

OVERVIEW OF SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL


PROJECTS

Source: Authorized by the author

OVERVIEW OF SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL


PROJECTS

Critical success factors vary from company to


company, industry to industry and country to country,
etc.
A complex set of variables, related to the
organizational structure, business process,
managerial tools, and most importantly, to the
people in the organization and to the work itself
(Hans, 2013)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
I. PLANNING ASPECT

Make sound planning at early stage

Planning activities remain an essential task


of project management throughout the
projects lifetime and is essential for a
successful project (Holger et al., 2008)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
Planning aspects
in Multilateral
Projects

Source: Holger et al., 2008

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
II. HUMAN ASPECT
1. Identify and select team members

Enlist team members based on 2 background


elements simultaneously:

Knowledge and skills

Passion, strategic thinking to thrive in a


challenging and collaborative environment

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
Conventional wisdom:
-

First: determine what needs to be done

Then: select the appropriate person who has the


knowledge and skills required to do it

Great companies method:

First: select people who have the right stuff

Then: collaboratively set their course


(Eskerod and Riis, 2009)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
2. Define team purpose
Especially crucial for multi-country teams to unit
around a common purpose
Use Team Charter to ensure workers :
- focus on the right thing from the start
- get back on track in case of conflicts
(Midgie, 2015)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS

State teams missions

Define each members


roles and responsibilities

Identify key resources

Decide how the team


operates

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
Team charter often use SMART framework to
set goals and objectives

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
3.

Cultural management

It is crucial to enable efficient communication and


understanding between project team members
from different cultural contexts as this might make
the difference between success and failure in
international projects (Dinsmore and Benitez,
2006)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS

Outline the diversity from the beginning of the project


Study the culture of the people and organizations
The internet
Many specialized consultants
The past multi-country projects
Face-to-face meeting
Desk research
Leadership
Time
Saving face
Time zones
Integrate all team members into one cohesive unit

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
4. Local adaption

Differences exist between the home and the host country can be the
origin of misunderstandings, delays, cost overruns, damaged
reputations (Orr and Scott, 2008)
Local adaptation:
(1)Adjusting work practices to the host country market and culture to create a locally
accepted and sustainable project (Eriksson et al., 1997)
(2)Acquire local institutional knowledge
()Contractual relationships
()Non-contractual relationships
()Acquiring a firm or hiring locals
()Strategically obtaining knowledge through pioneering or trial projects
()Relying upon past experience
()Public sources (Javernick-Will, 2009)

DIPT MANAGEMENT METHODS


5. Management process
a.

Unify Management Process

Make managerial processes of projects integrated throughout the enterprise and


overall business strategy

No top-down management centralized operation, but a management system


with flexibility and adaptability to local leadership while functioning consistently
within established organizational norms and cultures

Managerial tools and leadership style across different geographic regions


consistently

Effective working relationships among managers, the guidance of local


management in collaboration with overall project leadership
Focus groups, internal and external consultants, training, teambuilding sessions
(Ivete and Roberto, 2013)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
b. Organization integration - Sustainable success
Integrating knowledge, processes and strategy across projects
Developed on previous projects
Continuously improving, remaining competitive

+
+
+

Transferring knowledge across projects has a positive


impact on project performance by increasing the project
teams body of knowledge and capabilities (Landaeta, 2008)
Right sharing methods and strategies
Motivate employees to exchange:
Project databases, report, general intranet systems
Socialization methods
Interactive online platforms

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
c. Leadership

Create high commitment to project


goals/objectives
Main duties

Source: Yoo and Sibin, 2007

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
d.

Project assessment & tracking

Ensure all key & critical members are involved in project


planning process

Get their feedback regularly to assure improvement of


performance continually

Using quantitative data instead of qualitative one

Ensure members to be aware of actual situation, not just


peoples perception

Making unannounced visits on team responsible for


providing progress data

Help verify the actual status of the projects progress that has

DIPT MANAGEMENT METHODS


II.

COMMUNICATION ASPECT

1.

Face to face meetings: there should be


no substitute for this
especially for:
Brainstorming
Innovating
Analyzing feasibility of
potential solutions,
scoping, scheduling
Identifying risks & dependencies
Conducting critical reviews
(Hass, 2010)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
2.

Body language: Important

up to 85% of the meaning of messages are transmitted


through none verbal communications (Lunenburg, 2010).
Should use face to face work sessions to watch
members body language

+
+
+

Virtual team:
use video conferencing instead
watch warning signs such as:
reduced output & shortage of new ideas
short and abrupt emails
reluctance to engage in phone calls/video conference

DIPT MANAGEMENT METHODS


3. Give feedback pay attention to fairness
Easy for remote staff to feel isolated and unmotivated
work performance is adversely affected
Solutions:

DIPT MANAGEMENT METHODS


4. Promote team bonding
First important element when working with diverse team
members is: TRUST (Hanaken & Soudunsaari, 2012).
Get your team together at least once a year if possible
Budgets are tight
other options for team-bonding activities:
- Set up an intranet page: forum for discussing suggestions/ideas
on particular projects, sharing experience, etc. (include members
photographs if possible)
- Informal communication: often a key source of information and
knowledge transfer
Example: unplanned meetings in coffee shops, cubicles, at lunch, etc.

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS

Source: Allen, 2007

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
Summary: Culture and communication
An essential ingredient of project performance is harmonious
working relationships between participants (Soetanto, et al., 2001)
Minimizing conflicts in international projects
International construction disputes, delays due to mismanaged time,
inefficient processes, unclear contract terms (Hu et al., 2008)

Establishment of common objectives and values

Create a sense of a team when working across the distance

Resolve conflict and reaching consensus

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
III. TECHNOLOGY ASPECT

Using state-of-the-art collaboration tools to facilitate consensus


1.

Use best-in-class software tools:

Professional service automation (PSA) => optimize


service engagement

Enterprise project management (EPM) => manage


internationally diverse projects

Enable collaboration & documents sharing

+
+
+

Project database:
Specific structure
Rules how to use database
Continuous improved

DIPT MANAGEMENT METHODS


2. Personal communication tools

Skype: convenient and cost-saving

Members feel closely tied and connected

Voice-mail: useful in case of emergency & can be checked


remotely and frequently

Substitute for e-mail (low speed and overload information)

Social networks & communities: MySpace, Youtube, etc.

Plan for technical support needs: members computer


malfunctions/software configuration issues

Resolve technical issues in a timely manner to prevent work being


interrupted
Crucial to members dispersed overtime, distance, organizational

DIPT MANAGEMENT METHODS


IV. RISK MANAGEMENT ASPECT
Investigating the method used in case study: Risk
management of international project in Russia (Aleshin,
1999).

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
1. Risk events identification
A list of risk events that have occurred in project
performance process

Choice of information sources


Project documentation (main source)

Project participants

Events occurring in the frame of the program

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
Project documentation includes:
-

Planned documentation (program manual, tender,


contract documentation)

Current documentation (project diary, correspondence


among project members, monthly report)

Resultant documentation (claims of contractors,


resultant reports)

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
Using filled standardized data card for each
risk event, comprising the following data:
- Full name of the project and the contractor
-

Name of risk event and its ordinal number

Work breakdown structure element code in cases


where risk event occurred

Stage of life cycle at which the risk event took place

Possible reasons and consequences of the risk event

Make the establishment of constraints among risk events and


their detailed analysis possible in the future

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
2. Risk events classification

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
3. Assessing & ranking of risk events groups
.

Assessment:

-. Initial data: level of loss caused by risk events


.

Ranking: based on

-.

Average delay duration

-.

Relative frequency of onset

-.

Both the above factors

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS
4.

Detailed results of empirical study


Quantitative assessment of the group:
What is the frequency of onset?
What is the average delay duration?

The cause of the group originating


Who cause this group of risk events?
What made this group appear?

The interconnection of the group with the project


life cycle
At what stage of the project is the risk event group built
At what stage is it revealed

DIPT MANAGEMENT
METHODS

The interconnection of the group with the WBS (work


breakdown structure)
- For what object elements is the group mostly characterized?
- Is it for external or internal elements for the whole project?
The dependency of the quantitative characteristics of the
group on the location of the construction
- Does the frequency of the group appearance and the average delay
duration depend on the location of construction (in the city or
country site?)
The recommendations on reduction of probability of the group
originating and possible negative consequences in case of its
onset

5. Risk management support system


Computer based training system (CBT)

Decision support system (DSS)

Training that is delivered through the


medium of the computer. It is usually
interactive and individualized in design
(Barron and Orwig, 1995)

A computer-based system designed to


assist a decision-maker (or group of
decision-makers) to make better, faster
or cheaper decision. (Emery, 1987)

Enable user to get information about the


project goals, work breakdown structure,
organization structure and project life
cycle.

Assess users level of knowledge about


quantitative risk characteristics

User would know:


-type of tools and techniques should be
used to anticipate potential project risks

Give the user practical data, information


about risk events and different
recommendations and advices on risk
management

- type of tools and techniques should be


used to make the process of project
implementation more successful

CONCLUSION

Compare with traditional team: Disparate project


teams are more complex to manage than traditional teams
due to the span of time, distance and organizational
boundaries.

There are a varieties of factors and methods impacting


significantly on the success of a disperse multi-national
projects
Depend on organizational characteristics, industry,
country,
but and most importantly, personnel management

Sustainable success

CONCLUSION (cont.)

The role of the project manager seems to shift


from being primarily a manager and
taskmaster to a leader.

Inspire and energize their followers to accomplish


a goal.
Help team members feel as if they are a part of
something bigger and more important than
themselves

REFERENCES
Eskerod, P. & Riis, E. (2009) Project management models as value creators.
Project Management Journal. 40(1), pp.4-18
Hass (2010) How to manage the complexities of large, diverse project teams.
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For
Project
Managers
[online].
Available
from:
http://www.projecttimes.com/articles/how-to-manage-the-complexities-of-largediverse-project-teams.html
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Midgie, A. (2015) Managing a Geographically Dispersed Team: Achieving Your
Goals Together, While Apart. Mind Tools: Essential Skills for an Excellent
Career
[online].
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