Modern technology has enabled the world to feel local. Today’s companies and organizations stretch beyond their own borders for growth opportunities and to take advantage of cost effective and emerging talent. Although new and exciting prospects abound as a result, so do new and unique challenges.
With offices in both the United States and Bermuda, we know exactly what it is like to lead teams and projects in multiple locations, plus solve for the challenges working internationally can present, both for ourselves and our clients. To help you in your multi-national journey, here are five keys we have discovered which can aid in successfully managing international projects.
Key #1 - Be prepared to customize standard operating procedures.
US based companies know that laws and regulations differ from state to state. Now magnify that across borders. While you want to maintain similar operating procedures in every location for your brand and systems continuity, you should also be prepared to work with local business experts to adapt where necessary to the standards of the country you are operating in.
Key #2 - Implement the same software systems and protocols.
Business management software challenges can be magnified across borders. Be sure to select software that can be supported in all regions you operate in. Cloud-based solutions are preferable to on-premise ones so that essential data can be shared in real time. Regularly train your team to guarantee 100% user adoption and ensure everyone is following the same procedures to maintain data integrity.
Key #3 - Strategically utilize resources to lower costs while raising the quality of your deliverables.
A company’s best resources are its people. Think of how you can maximize each team member’s strengths, as well as take advantage of time zone differences, to ensure continuous productivity. Consider the benefits each region you operate in offers. Assess your supply chain and logistics to identify production and transportation cost savings that do not sacrifice quality.
Key #4 - Prepare for language differences.
Even if your global team adopts one language which will be spoken, understand that there could be variances in accents, idiomatic expressions, and even different writing standards. For example, the nuances and rules of written and spoken English vary from the United Kingdom, to Australia, to Canada, to the United States. If you are operating in a country where your common language is not the primary language spoken in that culture, be prepared to provide assistance and clarity by having translators on your team who can provide native language options for manuals, internal communications, and even subtitles on videos.
Key #5 - Be culturally aware and sensitive.
It is important to be aware of the cultural norms and “no-no’s” in each region your company has a presence in. An innocent hand gesture in one culture can be misinterpreted by another. A presentation led by a woman can cause team members from certain countries to respond negatively to her and her message. Connecting with a local cultural expert to provide training to your global teammates will go a long way for communicating across borders.
Whether you have multiple locations in various countries or remote workers scattered around the globe, BDM Squared can customize project solutions that meet your operations’ unique needs. We have an entire team, the International Mission Force (or IMF) that is dedicated to providing solutions for internationally based projects.
BDM Squared is aware that business happens in the context of culture. This is why the members of our IMF team are not only skilled projected managers, but they are also trained to be culturally sensitive to the country and region they will be interacting with your team in.
Other elements that contribute to our successes abroad include our ability to provide native language translation and interpretation for interaction with our teams as necessary. We interface with your team via secure video, documents, and voice tools. We are sensitive to the various time zones involved when scheduling meetings.
All this is added to our normal business practices, such as:
- Our proprietary Rapid Project Ignition Process
- Visibility into your project’s progression
- The ability to scale our assistance up or down, depending on your needs
BDM Squared has been a top choice for strategic consulting and project management among multinational corporations such as Xerox and AT&T. Let us be your choice too! Give us a call at 404-301-5879 or send an email to [email protected] to schedule your consultation.