What is International Project Management?
An international project management can have various goals like working on top-level projects involving multiple vendors in different countries, overseeing a full global organization or managing some part or other of a country’s infrastructures. The services offered by today’s international team as observed by Fintalent’s International Project Management Consultants, are widespread and varied including designing strategies, performing research on markets, analyzing program development costs for future programs. International project management is one among many methods used by companies to optimize their operations across borders.
International Project Management – What it is not?
International project management does not mean foreign language, entertainment or travel. It is the process of managing and planning for the implementation of a program or event that is organized and executed by people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. International project management also provides goods, services and technology to other countries from within your country. So in this case you may find yourself dealing with government agencies across borders as well.
How is it done?
As with all projects, international projects require careful preparation to ensure success. The key to success comes from planning. Project management is the process of carefully monitoring and controlling all steps from the beginning to the end of a project, while minimizing risk. “To plan is to think ahead” or “to plan is to think twice” are truths that one should always take into account when dealing with international projects.
There are two primary elements of project management: scheduling and planning. Both require constant attention and usually require two people at least to work effectively. Scheduling should be a collaborative effort among all involved parties as it will influence the planning process. Although there are many different types of schedules, they consist of either an “estimate” or a “schedule” or both. An estimate is simply that, an estimation on the time it will take to complete a certain action. A schedule, on the other hand, is a rigid plan that must be adhered to and usually includes milestones or checkpoints to follow.
There are three categories of international projects:
- Projects completed by a single organization located in one country;
- Projects that involve more than one country (cross-border); and
- Projects that involve more than one organization (joint).
There are several reasons for this such as translation, currency differences and cultural issues. Some of these differences are obvious while others are not so easy to recognize until you try them out in the field. Here are some of the most important concerns that must be addressed before you select a project management plan:
- Language is a huge concern, so it is good to make sure that all parties can communicate clearly. If there are large differences in language it may be better to plan ahead of time and make arrangements for interpreters or translators.
- It is crucial to account for currency differences as well, especially when conducting business in other countries with different economic systems. Differences in currency can cause a variety of problems from price changes to stock difficulties depending on the type of project you are undertaking. As planning an international project includes managing resources including money, it would be helpful to keep these complications in mind from the beginning.
- Cultural differences can be a headache for managers, but are a necessity to plan for when doing business in foreign countries. It is good practice to do your research beforehand and make contact with the people you will be dealing with to familiarize yourself with their customs. This way you will know how to best handle yourself and how to properly deal with others when difficulties arise.
International project management is commonly taught at post secondary institutions, as well as professional training facilities focused on project management. International Project Management also benefits from professional associations such as “The International Project Management Association” (IPMA).
Why International Project Management?
International projects are those that involve organizations, individuals, and activities in at least two countries. They come in a wide range of sizes and complexity levels. International projects are becoming more popular as companies strive to be competitive in the global market. Most international project management tasks require specialized project management skills to deal effectively with the unfamiliar territory of another country’s culture and customs.
International Project Management – Where?
Since there are so many different countries around the world doing business with each other, there is no room for error. It is important to properly manage all international projects; you cannot have mistakes because they will cost millions on the bottom line while also potentially harming your reputation (i.e. United States’ Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster). Project management for international projects is so important due to the amount of responsibility required to complete a successful project. Each country has its own unique set of laws and regulations that must be adhered to in order to conduct business.
International Project Management – When?
There are several times in which there is a need for international projects. The following list contains examples of when companies may consider an international project:
International Project Management – How?
There are different ways to approach international project management as well as different ways to complete the projects themselves. International project management can be difficult because it involves dealing with multiple countries and cultures all at one time. Here are some ways in which you can accomplish international project management:
It is important to plan ahead when doing business internationally so that you do not overlook any vital issues. There are several international organizations that can help you with the planning and management of your international project. Fintalent offers some of the best IPM Consultants for hire to organizations seeking professional consultants for hire.