But by far, the most critical action a manager or project manager can take with global development is to develop trust among all the teams. A couple of years ago, I consulted to a project that had teams in several European countries, and several countries across Asia. In all, there were teams in seven countries.
Senior management was concerned about the costs of development. So they created a competition. Project teams that met specific milestones early would receive small bonuses and keep their jobs. That’s right, the “losers” in the schedule game would forfeit their livelihoods.
Every single project team met every milestone. Of course, the project didn’t work at all. But each person met his or her milestones, no matter how ridiculous the schedule was. The cost of development increased by several orders of magnitude. And the blaming across the organization continues to this day.
Without trust among the distributed teams, the project cannot succeed. Even without senior management who (unintentionally) created a project monster, the distributed teams need to know that they are all equal partners in the project, and that they all need to work together for the good of the organization. The project manager (and any other managers) can do this by building trust with the teams and among the teams.
This original article can be found at: http://www.jrothman.com/Papers/managing-across-globe.html
Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. Johanna is the author of Manage It!’Your Guide to Modern Pragmatic Project Management’. She is the coauthor of the pragmatic Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management, and author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People. And, Johanna is a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference (http://www.ayeconference.com). You can see Johanna’s other writings at http://www.jrothman.com.