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GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS AND TRENDS PAPER

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Introduction

Running head: GLOBAL CONSIDERATIONS AND TRENDS PAPER Global Considerations and Trends Ivan Menendez, Pooya Alam, Matthias Schueller, Tess Kroeker, Farshad Sarmad MGT 573 Workshop VI Project Management in the Business Environment Eli Konorti March 28, 2007 University of Phoenix Global Considerations and Trends Forecasting the future with accuracy is a challenge. However, change is a constant which will be present in the evolution of project management in the 21st century. In the past, project management was seen as an emerging skill. Today project management has arrived. Thus, project management is spreading across organizations and it is increasingly perceived as a fundamental management skill in today's times of constant change. This paper contrasts domestic and global project management. Further, the paper examines the challenges of managing virtual teams and projects comprised of members of multi-ethnic and sociopolitical backgrounds. Partnering including cooperative and competitive alliances between competing firms is evaluated as well as the technological advances which might affect project management in the future. Finally, three future trends which may affect project management are identified. Domestic and Global Project Management Global project management evokes images of coordinating complex multinational projects in distributed environments with participants in many time zones using different languages and alternative value systems to deliver a product or service that will satisfy all parties (Dalcher, 2006). New challenges such as outsourcing, virtual project teams and collaborative partnerships offer practical and usable procedures, methods, and insights for competing and working in a global environment. According to Cleland and Ireland (2002, p. 243),"each domestic project has a good likelihood of becoming global in nature." Although there are similarities between domestic and global project management, several differences can turn a global project into an extraordinary challenge. Similarities Each project, domestic or global, is unique. This is one of the key characteristics of projects. The matrix structure in a domestic project is as complex as in global project management. ...read more.

Middle

Empathy and willingness to understand individual differences are essential management skills, especially when managing global teams. Project managers need to understand and value team members. A good working atmosphere is one in which every team member is able to retain his or her own personal characteristics. Recognizing individual differences and cultures of team members is a management responsibility. Differences between team members are not just a burden and challenge, they are opportunities as well. "Diversity on a project team can be an asset." (Miller, Fields, Kumar, & Ortiz, 2000, p. 18) Competitive versus Cooperative Alliances Globalization, specialization, fierce competition, and downsizing are increasingly gaining importance in today's business world. Today's global marketplace has been opened up to more players than ever. Highly specialized-diversified workforce along with the emerging need to be focused on the core competencies have made project management increasingly important and challenging. In such circumstances, businesses have realized that no company has monopoly on all innovation which exists within an industry. Consequently, companies have recognized that taking action towards sharing resources, knowledge, and expertise will allow them to better focus on their core competencies in order to eventually improve the end-results. Ansoff (1965) describes the positive effects of such cooperative strategies by introducing the concept of synergy to the management world for the first time. Ansoff's explanation of managerial synergy simply indicates that under the right circumstances business ventures can achieve; (2+2 = 5). Within the context of project management, organizations can achieve synergy through implementation of outsourcing, contracting, partnering, joint ventures, or other forms of cooperative alliances. Technological advances, globalization, and shorter product life cycles have caused the organizations to become more multi-project driven. Hence, in order to successfully manage projects in this emerging multi-project environment, project managers have to work with various people from different organizations. According to Gray and Larson (2005, p. 383), "a recent study indicates that the average large corporation is involved in around 30 alliances today versus fewer than three in the early 1990s." ...read more.

Conclusion

(University of Phoenix, 2004). Databases of containing information on global resources and suppliers connected by intranets will revolutionize the field of project management (University of Phoenix, 2004). Quicker Turnaround Projects are moving faster and deadlines are being met at different physical global locations, often simultaneously. The impact of this trend is that parallel activities are being conducted at the same time and there is a need for quicker response time. Today's global companies are carrying projects around the clock - 24 hours a day. Thus, design can be performed in Canada, while procurement is carried in Argentina and fabrication takes place in China. These activities are analogous to the British Empire where the sun never sets. This tendency will continue to grow as globalization is entrenched. These trends will continue to be supported by the growth of virtual projects and developments in telecommunications (Gassmann & Von Sedwitz, 2003). Enterprise wide systems will aid in the prioritization of projects and dovetailing the project to the organization's strategy and resource availability (University of Phoenix, 2004). Technologies which help project teams collaborate will be further developed allowing workers in multiple time zones to coordinate activities (University of Phoenix, 2004). Conclusion The relatively young discipline of project management is entering a new dimension of global project management. The enormous changes are obvious. Global teams can work on projects faster, cheaper, with greater flexibility, and more intelligently in terms of managing resources, risks, and changes. Nevertheless, international project teams are facing considerable challenges that require special attention. Language barriers, different cultural attitudes and values, biases, different working times and styles as well as problems of building trust without personal contact are some of those challenges. Modern technology such as the internet and international alliances unquestionably support virtual teams and companies that never sleep. Nowadays technology enables teams to communicate via voice and picture effectively around the globe and makes personal contact redundant. Without question, global business will change our daily routines. How much those new trends will change our life will depend upon the people primarily and not just on the technical possibilities. Without acceptance technology is powerless. ...read more.

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