International Project Management

"International project management" refers to the planning and overseeing of work that occurs outside of your familiar national culture, and that involves months or years of effort and numerous people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Working Effectively on International Projects is GROVEWELL's highly participative two-day workshop that optimizes the effectiveness of international project managers.

If you've been involved in a huge project, you know that even when everyone is in and from the same nation, and therefore shares similar expectations about labor relations, hierarchies, decision-making, problem-solving, time-use, and so forth, relationship frictions often undermine progress.

When the worksite is far away and the many of those involved have dissimilar cultural values and work-related expectations, the relationship frictions of project work are exacerbated.

Working Effectively on International Projects lowers the risk that differing expectations and values pose to planning, labor relations, deadlines, quality-control, and investor satisfaction.

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GROVEWELL's Two-Day Training Workshop for Project Managers

The strength of this workshop lies in the practical nature of the concepts it teaches, and in its application of company-specific or industry-specific case studies that enable attendees to operationalize those concepts.

IMPORTANT:  This workshop is intended to supplement other types of PM training, such as Kepner Tregoe, in which little attention usually is paid to cultural and cross-border features of international project management.

Intended participants in this workshop are those who will provide on-site management abroad, such as International Project Managers and their deputies.  It is also useful for those who will support an overseas project from their company's headquarters.

Course Overview and Outline

The objectives of this workshop are that, by course end, participants will:

  • learn to anticipate which value-related cultural factors may affect the overall PM process
  • recognize values in their own culture that can impact an established PM process (such as Kepner Tregoe)
  • increase their skill in utilizing the PM process in unfamiliar national/cultural settings
  • learn to integrate value-related factors into formal PM statements and resulting processes
  • build awareness of communication issues that can undermine international PM
  • acquire skills in planning, organizing, and monitoring that are transferable to broader PM roles.

"Working Effectively on International Projects" is delivered in ten sections:

Section  I Workshop Introduction
Section  II Project Management: A Review
Section  III Management Abroad: A Cultural Framework
Section  IV Panel of Former Expatriate Managers
Section  V Application of the Cultural Framework
Section  VI Intercultural Communications
Section  VII Using Intercultural Publications
Section  VIII New Project Planning Elements
Section  IX Completion of Major Case Studies [most of day 2]
Section  X Wrap-up and Commitments

Options for customizing this workshop include:

  • Section II: The review may be of Kepner Tregoe or any other project management approach
  • Section IV: If your firm has no returned expatriate managers, we will explore options with you
  • Section IX: Cases are based on your firm's PM experience abroad; or we can provide cases.
  • The entire course can be given a geographical/cultural focus; one or two additional days and an additional facilitator are required.

GROVEWELL's partners have has co-authored two articles on this topic; both can be read on this website by clicking here and here.