Going Global Down Under
For me, there has always been a sense of extra excitement when I work on project with a global dimension to it. There’s inherent exhilaration when your project’s scope crosses borders, whether it be the product you’ve internationalized, the overseas resources that delivered for you or the foreign client you’ve satisfied.
A project success that spans borders may feel small in comparison to a big domestic project, like a corporate ERP replacement or the next go-around with data warehousing. Yet delivering on a small global project may feel just as “big” simply by virtue of the added burdens of managing in a global context. These burdens include language barriers, time zones, work style differences and constraints on “face time.” An average international project can require just as much work as a big domestic project, yet the feeling of success is proportional to the work you put into it.
By going through many episodes of this kind of “love/hate” with international projects, I’ve noticed improvements in my effectiveness as a project manager—and these improvements also optimize my performance on domestic projects. The ultimate test and sharpening of these skills came when I worked with stakeholders who were all in Australia—which is truly “down under,” where the business day has mostly
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