Start with Small Projects
On a local project, each team member benefits from a shared framework
(location, resources, procedures) which helps communication and trust. On the
other hand, as discussed earlier, a project that spans globally is affected by
differences in practices, communication methods, and cultural standards. For
instance, a team that is dispersed may compete with other teams for available
resources which may result in trust issues. To build trust between project
sites, organizations should start with small projects. Additionally, the
project manager should form a small team. This way, teams can quickly establish
a good foundation and build trust for bigger projects in the future (Wilson and
Furthermore, limiting the number of subcontractors or other agents into a
project is a logical approach. A good example is Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner project. Boeing tried
to build a new plane with more than 50 major partners in the U.S., Europe, and
East Asia. As a result, coordination of the project became very difficult for
modifications were necessary. To get the project back on track, Boeing resorted
to collocating its partners for six months. Eventually, the new plane was
delivered, three years late, and Boeing lost many orders to the Airbus A350.
(Wilson and Doz, 2012).
By having a small team, the project team structure will be
cost-effective, a must in the global environment (Anantatmula, V. S. &
Thomas, M., 2008).
In an atmosphere of
uncertainty, project team members may become worried about job security.
This may result in talent leaving the organization for other prospects.
Managers should focus on creating an atmosphere of honesty and faithfulness
(Wilson and Doz, 2012). This is very important for job sites in locations where
competition for talent acquisition is intense (Wilson and Doz, 2012).
Have a senior experienced Project Manager
Senior Project Managers see the problems immediately due to the
experience they have (Keely Wilson and Yves Doz, 2012).
Use a strong Project Management Team and Tools
A global project requires a strong project management team who thinks
globally supported by strong tools and procedures. Companies can attain a
strong system by:
quality system across all the sites
a specialized unit in the organization for global projects. Working in these units
needs extensive travel and exposure to different parts of world and sites,
(Wilson and Doz, 2012).
Use one site as the focal point of the project
If each site has an equal weight in managing the project, every decision
would have to be negotiated amongst all work sites. This would impede the
project, as each site starts to defend its own interests (Wilson and Doz, 2012).
Assign the resources based their capacity not their availability
Each site should be chosen based on its team skills and experience. For a
global project, this requires special care in order to use and incorporate the
best possible knowledge in the global team. The availability approach weakens
the foundation for successful formation of a global team (Wilson and Doz,
Communication is not only by technology
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) such as email, web
meetings, social media, and video conferencing are very important to a global
project (Anantatmula, V. S. & Thomas, M., 2008). However, those tools mask
the differences between job sites, which can lead to misinterpretations, and
conflict. Therefore, in addition to a strong ICT, a global project should have
travel plan for face-to-face meetings (Wilson and Doz, 2012).
While developing an ICT tool for the organization, the management should
consider (Stolovitsky, 2012) Distance, Language, Culture, Time Zones and Access
to Information in different sites.