If there is anything the global economic crisis has taught us is that there’s no escaping globalisation. Whether we like it or not, the marketplace we operate in is global, and things that happen in one country affect people and organisations in another. No longer are we our own islands, responsible for our own directions, and immune to the decisions of others.
The same is also true for projects, with construction, IT and community projects often spanning different countries, but all team members working towards the same outcome. Case in point, I know an estimator based in Brisbane, Australia, working on a project in Gladstone, North Queensland. Parts of the project are being subcontracted to companies in Australia, other parts to companies in Malaysia, who in turn are subbing work out to companies in India. Gone are the days where projects are run, subcontracted and completed all in the same country, let alone the same city.
So how do we go about managing these projects across a broad range of countries, languages, cultures, timezones and currencies? The good news is the tool that has helped facilitate this global market is also the tool that can help us work effectively in it. Technology. Technology is now more important than ever when it comes to managing projects in the global marketplace.
With advancements in technology like cloud computing, project information can be available to users instantly, regardless of their location or time zone. Online central databases mean users have access to all the same information, and it is the most current and up to date. Databases like those used in IPM also have the ability to store all subcontractor information, including the currency each one operates in. Exchange rates can be applied to convert currencies so all your figures are telling the same story.
What’s more, developments in mobile technology like the one just released by Microsoft on Monday mean you can take your project information with you where ever you go, and access it from anywhere in the world – very handy should you need to visit any of your project stakeholders in other countries.
So even though coordinating a global project can seem like a logistical nightmare, the exciting developments in technology in recent years are helping project managers navigate the global marketplace and ensure nothing gets lost in translation.
For more information about how IPM can help with managing your projects, both national and international, please do not hesitate to contact us.