Project Management

5 Challenges for International Projects

You may get excited at the idea of working with international colleagues or partners for a project. Sure, you get to know people from other continents who speak different languages and have distinctive customs. However, don’t expect too much, as there can be lots of latent obstacles involved. In a post at the Lazy Project’s Manager Blog, Peter Taylor describes five common challenges of working in an international project:

  1. Distance
  2. Language
  3. Corporate culture
  4. Time zones
  5. Access to information

Cross the Border

It is without saying that people who work for an international project are geographically separated, so time zones vary greatly and the need for virtual communication methods is vital. Sometimes, you will find it hard to agree upon a time frame for a meeting, or to ensure that all participants have a good Internet connection.

After that, language and corporate culture are other problems that may stress you out and potentially create miscommunication. Not everyone can speak and write English fluently, and even for those who can, they may not speak and write English in the way that Americans do. Besides, some companies prefer strict formality, while others may be more casual and personal in communicating.

The final problem anyone would expect is having access to information. This issue is illustrated:

Ensuring access to relevant information for an international team is more complex for global projects. Especially since going into the office to ask a colleague a question isn’t an option! That’s why it’s important to establish specific processes, such as, documenting the details of the project and ensuring that important information is accessible to all. Quick access to information is essential for the effective management and success of a project.

The same sorts of challenges plague international projects that plague co-located ones, just on a different scale. Stay vigilant and you can work through them. You can view the original post here:

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