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Global Project Management and Future Trends

Discuss global project management and future trends in project management. Be sure to address the following:

a. The similarities and differences between domestic and global project management
b. The challenges of managing a virtual (remote) team
c. The challenges of managing projects involving teams with members from multiple ethnic and sociopolitical backgrounds
d. Competitive versus cooperative alliances between competing organizations
e. Technology enhancements that could affect project management in the future
f. At least three trends that will be important to project management in the next decade.

Solution Preview

Please see the response attached (also below), including two relevant articles. Let's look at some relevant information from various sources to help you get started. I hope this helps and take care.

a. The similarities and differences between domestic and global project management

The domestic project is a project within a country's own borders. Dumping, for example, may be defined by comparing the price charged for export with the price charged on the domestic market, i.e, to buyers within the exporting country. Domestic project management deals with these types of domestic type market issues. Domestic project management has fewer variables to manage, but often makes less profit in the world of global trends. However, both need a plan and both need to be managed according to the plan. However, there are different challenges.

Global trends are reshaping the competitive dimensions in the world and are driving the need for increased use of "borderless," or global, project management. The management of the global projects cuts across organizational and national borders, which deal with the transcultural and transborder management of projects. To be successful, project managers must be prepared to overcome a unique set of obstacles. Special challenges arise from differences in cultures, mores, tradition, values, philosophies and languages of the project partners. In addition, attitudes of the project team in each of the partner organizations take on added importance. The financial risks and implications of the project can be immense, extending far beyond the financial capabilities of any one partner operating independently. Competition in the global marketplace is becoming dependent on using consistent organizational processes throughout the global community.

In Managing Global Projects, the manager needs a wider set of skills in order to approach these complex global management issues as well as how to minimize the risks inherent in doing business in the worldwide marketplace. There are many unique problems inherent in managing a global project and different skills necessary to solve them. The roadmap to success is a clear roadmap for initiating, planning, implementing, controlling and successfully closing out a global project.


I located an excellent article on global projects, which I gleaned some of the points of similarities and differences below:

- Personal demands higher for managers of global projects, who need greater expertise and maturity (e.g., language barriers, family pressures, etc.)
- Core expatriate team required and expatriate costs are large for global projects - owners can train on location managers, but needs to be done prior to project mobilization
- The geographic factors, in-country factors and pace of a typical GLOBAL project come together to compound the normal challenge of capital domestic projects.
- During the initial stage, both domestic and global projects come together to determine the project goals, responsibilities of team members, and critical factors for team success.
- Alignment strategies are more complex for global projects and need to recognize cultural differences, as the degree of openness and communication varies considerably in international settings. However, all team members, for both D & G projects must understand the project priorities and key objectives (p. 31 attached article).
- Clear definitions of owner's role and responsibilities of owner and contractor's organization needed for both.
- Both need contracting strategy (p. 34).
- Project Background Information needed for both (p. 34).
- Technical issues differ in several significant ways (pp. 37 & 39)
- Local issues different (e.g., finance new infrastructure, etc. - see p. 38)
- Quality Control in underdeveloped countries is more difficult (see p. 41).
- See Contracting (p. 45).
- Program management function is more complex for global than domestic (p. 49) (
- Procurement strategies impact cost quality and schedule results to a larger degree for the global project (p. 51)
- Project controls differ for the global project - managers must build in both cost and schedule contingencies that would not be typical in a domestic US based business (p. 63).
- Designs differ and must be based on the country of business, or else costs rise for the project (p. 66).

Also see

b. The challenges of managing a virtual (remote) team

Definition: Virtual Teams is a group of individuals who work across time, space and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by links of web technologies. They have complimentary skills and committed to a common goal (similar to face-to-face) and share an approach to work for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Geographically dispersed teams allow organizations to hire and retain the best people regardless of location. In contrast, the face-to-face teams usually are from the same (or near) location. A virtual team does not always mean a teleworker (individuals who work from home). In fact, many virtual teams in organizations today consist of employees both working at home and small groups in the office but in different geographic locations. In other words, the two types of groups have some commonalities, with the major difference being in time (8 hrs versus 24 hours), space (face-to-face versus distance), and geographic boundaries (same location versus different geographic locations).

Challenges have to do with miscommunications, building and leading successful virtual and remote teams to maintain success in the global workplace, diagnosing and handling the unique risks of managing global projects and services, managing the collaboration elements that work best for you and your team, adapting a collaborative management style to meet the unique demands of global team leadership, building team d a team identity and sense of purpose is often more difficult with global teams, and designing customized tools and procedures that fit your team's skills and locations

Other authors agree that virtual (remote) teams have not been fully define as seen in the next example

Example 1: (excerpt)

The concept of the virtual team is not clearly defined and it often overlaps with notions of the networked organization, virtual communities, electronic commerce and teleworking. Viewed in this way, virtual teams are seen as a way of overcoming differences in time and geography through creating a virtual co-presence (sometimes called virtual co-location) through the application of technology, i.e. they exploit reliable and consistent communications in order to work together and overcome some of the 'frictions' of time and geography.

In contrast to home based work and telework described earlier, but a greater proportion of the work is carried out 'on-line' as hot distributed collaborative work. When teams are physically co-located, the co-presence required for 'hot' working is not a problem. However, when work becomes temporally or geographically distributed is what is meant by 'presence' can be problematical, as can the mediating effects of the technologies used to achieve this.

Virtual Teams are seen as project or task focused groups. Team membership may be relatively stable (e.g. in an established sales team) or change on a regular basis (e.g. in project teams). Members may be drawn from the same organization or from several different organizations, (e.g. when projects involve consultants or external assessors). Further distinctions can be made on physical proximity, (i.e. whether or not the team members are co-located) and by work-cycle synchronicity, (i.e. whether or not the team members are in the same time zones).

For a task group, the task usually provides the initial motivation to work together over time and space. However, in order to keep working together and/or to make working together a success more is needed. A team is more than a group of individuals working in isolation. A balance of dealing with factual content, relationships and the coordination of a central process are required. Social aspects such as a shared social context, a feeling of trust and a human interest in each other need to be balanced against the more process orientated aspects such as the planning of work and the scheduling of activities to maximize the overall performance of the group. (Excerpted from

Example 2: Challenge of collaborated work e.g., virtual team (excerpt)

Work may be distributed either physically (e.g. it may be carried out in different places) or temporally (e.g. it may be carried out at different times). The forms of Distributed Working that are considered in this course may involve one of both of these. Collaborative Work is taken to mean work that is work undertaken as part of a group activity. There is an implicit assumption in most of the literature on Collaborative Working that the group activity is directed towards some shared goal or has some common purpose. As with almost any form of group activity there is some element of social interaction to the work as well as the simple fulfillment of a task (e.g. teamwork usually requires some degree of trust between the members of the team if it is to be effective). Two forms of Distributed Collaborative Work can be identified.

Hot Distributed Collaborative Work, also known as 'closely coupled', 'tightly coupled' or 'on-line' Distributed Collaborative Work is Collaborative Work in the sense that we would normally think of it, i.e. it is highly interactive and requires the active presence of the other members of the group. This form of work is also sometimes referred to as closely coupled work.
Cold Distributed Collaborative Work, also known as ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions posed, this solution discusses global project management and future trends in project management e.g. the similarities and differences between domestic and global project management, the challenges of managing a virtual (remote) team, etc. Supplemented with two supporting articles on aspects on project management and virtual teams.