A clear project strategy, one that acknowledges and plans for the complexities of the project management process, is certainly a critical factor in achieving a successful project outcome.  But a clear strategy is often challenging to achieve.

One complex factor is that an increasing number of project activities are no longer confined within the boundaries of an organization or even confined within the boundaries of a geographic region.  Today, it is not unusual to have a product designed in one country with prototypes and production occurring in another.  Or, it is not unusual for IT integration projects to be unfolded across many business units throughout the globe.

We can argue that all projects are basically the same regardless of where in the world they take place.  After all, they proceed through the same stages from initiation to closing. And the management and control processes within these stages are more similar than they are different. If we accept this argument then projects are the same regardless of where they occur.

But the evidence - including my own research and experience with clients in India, EU, the Middle East, China, Korea and the US – points to some very significant differences once you cross borders.  Work processes are different, governance structures are different, communications are different, stakeholder involvement is different and organizational cultures are different.   And unless these differences are recognized it may be more difficult to succeed in using the concepts, methodologies, procedures,  tools, and templates  that support the project management process.

Sometimes these differences explain why deliveries are late, why quality has been disappointing, why  costs are higher than expected, why business trips to suppliers are frustrating, and why instructions are not followed. And understanding the “Why” can help in improving the process.

This site is about the complexity of project strategy as well as the added complexity when many aspects of the project rely on suppliers, designers or even customers, located in other countries. You will find project tips, case studies, lessons learned and a monthly newsletter.

If you have comments or would like to share your experience, please do not hesitate to call or send an email.

Barry Shore, PhD (+1 603-767-0480)

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