The Changing Role of Technology in Project Communication

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Categories: Communication, IT

The first global delivery model (GDM 1.0) was created a few decades ago to reflect the outsourcing and offshoring of IT services, mostly in India. A global delivery model is typically a method of executing a technology project using a team that is distributed globally.

Now, there are many choices in terms of outsourcing, and technology plays more of a role in project communication. As such, GDM 2.0 is on the horizon. And project managers must reorient themselves to the changed environment of cloud, social and mobile computing.

I would describe GDM 2.0 as "intelligently distributing the project's work, team, leadership and governance across multiple locations and leveraging technology to provide high-speed, high-quality and low-cost solutions to global customers."

A few of the tenets that contribute to providing customer value using a GDM 2.0 are:
  • Reduced cost: Executing projects at low-cost locations spanning multiple countries, cultures and languages
  • Abundant talent: Accessing talent across different locations
  • Follow the sun: Leveraging time-zone differences to maintain continuity in managing projects
  • Quality of service: Using best practices, lessons learned and standards to provide faster, better, cheaper and steadier services
  • Knowledge and collaboration: Implementing robust knowledge-management systems to help build a seamless flow of information across multiple teams, projects and locations
  • Continuous learning: Using ongoing training to prepare project professionals for the market, customers and projects

Here are a few of my thoughts on the future of GDM 2.0:
1. Almost all IT service providers are now building their own private clouds, making the provisioning of IT resources faster and cheaper. In the past, project managers had to wait for weeks or months to get certain IT resources.
2. IT service providers that develop applications using platform as a service (PaaS) and that implement package applications using software as a service (SaaS) now involve cloud providers. Project managers must be aware of the various risks, contractual obligations, security issues and potential legal issues of working in this multi-party environment.
3. IT service providers are building process platforms that leverage cloud infrastructure. That means project managers must learn to work with competitors, as customers might select process platforms from multiple IT service providers.
4. Mobility in project management will be a norm in the GDM 2.0. IT service providers have to mobilize their project management, software engineering and other critical governance processes to improve project performance. These service providers will need to make investments to rebuild their project management tools and applications to work on mobiles or to procure mobile project management applications.

What do you think the future of GDM will hold?

See more posts on project communication.
Posted by V. Srinivasa Rao on: October 07, 2011 12:21 PM | Permalink


William H Gutches
Global Delivery must be supported with Global Knowledge Management of all things related to each Project and Program.

These artifacts must be secure, reliable and accessible around the globe so that each geographically dispersed project team can have timely access and appropriate update privileges for their contributions to these materials.

Recent technology not only supports this notion but allows for more personal communication about the changes being made to these evolving documents thru text, audio, and video chat capabilities on PDAs and other 24-hour available communication methods.

Wake up and smell the 6 hours on and 6 hours off project management team around the globe sharing these artifacts and communication lines.

Thomas Juli
I think you have covered the most important aspects in GDM2.0. And, this is very important, you pointed out that it is not solely about technology.

Technology helps make GDM2.0 a reality we can cope with and master more easily - if and only if - we "intelligently distribute the project's work, team, leadership and governance across multiple locations." We must never forget that projects are about people and team work. What it takes is leadership and appropriate governance structure across locations.

I have written and talked extensively about the very topics. Have a look at my blog and my book "Leadership Principles for Project Success" ( or contact me directly for additional information.


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