Impact of culture on project management
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Impact of Culture on Project Management. August 22 , 2011 Tim Porter [email protected] Background. My perspective on multi-national projects Managed multi-national software outsourcing projects

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Impact of Culture on Project Management

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Impact of culture on project management

Impact of Culture on Project Management

August 22, 2011

Tim Porter

[email protected]


Background

Background

  • My perspective on multi-national projects

    • Managed multi-national software outsourcing projects

    • Taught project management at the university level in China (Zhejiang University) and the USA (GMU, GWU)

    • Implemented new or improved project management business practices at a Chinese company (Hundsun Technologies)

    • PM for various internal projects for a major Chinese corporation

    • Currently provide consulting services related to USA-China projects


Culture

Culture

  • What is culture?

    • The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group

  • How do we manage the differences?


Value differences

Value Differences

  • Individualism

  • Achievement

  • Equality

  • Pride

  • Respect for Competence

  • Directness

  • Informal

  • Collectivism

  • Modesty

  • Hierarchy

  • Saving Face

  • Respect for Elders

  • Indirectness

  • Formal


Understanding and capitalizing on chinese culture traits

Understanding and Capitalizing on Chinese Culture Traits

  • Confucianism and the Collective play important roles

  • Relationships and “guanxi”

  • 爱面子 –Face

  • Concept of time

  • Respect for traditional values

  • Contracts and the Law

  • Soft “yes”


Culture of information protection and the master

Culture of Information Protection and the Master

  • “shifu” – father, teacher, master for life

  • The need for self-sufficiency

  • Transfer of knowledge

  • Acquiring someone else’s secret and IP


Knowledge area project communications

Knowledge Area: Project Communications

  • Communication – Communication – Communication

  • Language

    • Many study English in China but ….

  • Producing quality English documentation

  • Translators and Interpreters

  • Having multi-lingual staff on your side is essential


What issues do chinese pms worry about with western clients

What Issues Do Chinese PMs Worry About With Western Clients?

  • Project Direction

    • More not less, detailed

    • “in the west, everything can be discussed”

      • Some things should just be decided

  • Requirements

    • Lack of specificity

  • Communication

    • Language and startup time

    • Does “not talking” mean not working?

    • Flat organizational structure in USA vs hierarchical in China

    • Many Chinese won’t readily initiate a conversation with a foreign boss


Impact of culture on project management

Any Questions?

Thank you


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