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Interview with Dennis Bolles (member #2000)

Created on 30 April 2008 Written by Jean Binder
Hits: 2307

In the interview below (conducted on the occasion of the 2000th membership in our LinkedIn group), Dennis Bolles talks about his experience as a global project manager, and how global projects can benefit from clear processes and methods.

What cross-cultural and multi-language considerations are the most important when building Project Management Centers of Excellence?
Awareness and understanding of the cultural differences and business practices for each country and knowing that differences in time zones can shorten the window for direct communications between countries.

How can the enterprise-wide project management theories and principles benefit global companies?
Managing limited resources to ensure they are distributed to the right projects at the right time are a challenge for organizations with a single location. Managing resource allocations on a global basis is nearly impossible without an enterprise-wide governance structure in place.

What was the most complex situation you lived on a global project, and how did you survive?
Time and distance provided challenges when assembling multiple organization sites for weekly management meetings. Using video conferencing was a way to help improve these communications. However, technical problems with connections did cause occasional problems and having regular attendance due to time zone differences was difficult. Establishing these meetings as a priority, and keeping the meeting agenda focused and held to one hour, were key factors to encourage regular attendance.

What do you enjoy about working on global projects?
Having the opportunity to work with people from different cultures and travel to their locations. Learning how project management is growing as a discipline in other parts of the world and how the PMBOK® Guide is being applied in those organizations.

What are the main challenges you face on your day-to-day project management, particular to Global Projects?
I have found that dealing with communications across time zones is the main challenge. Limited face-to-face meetings, because of the time and cost requirements, is a big downside of working in a virtual project environment.

How do you believe the Global Project Management Framework can help global project managers? What would you recommend to improve the framework in its next version?
I have not had the opportunity to study this framework in any detail; however the brief scan of the website documents look like a good approach. I would more than likely use parts of the framework that would work for a particular consulting engagement. The project management maturity of an organization will affect the timing and acceptance of implementing various aspects of the framework. I can not provide any recommendations at this time as I have not studied the content in depth, but I am looking forward to seeing or talking to people who have implemented it before offering any recommendations for improvement.

What word of advice would you give to other global project managers?
Take time to carefully plan and implement project management practices. Identify the values and benefits for the organization’s management and implement the processes one step at a time. Build on successes and gather key performance measurements that suppor the value and benefits to the organizations in terms of ROI.



Dennis Bolles - the 2000th member of our LinkedIn group - has more than 30 years experience with business and project management in multiple industries. His primary focus over the past 15 years has been advising organizations on methodology development, governance and corporate strategy. He led a virtual project team of 300 volunteers world-wide to a successful completion and on-time delivery of the PMI ANSI Standard PMBOK® Guide Third Edition in 2004. He is a published author of many project management articles, seminars, and two books entitled "Building Project Management Centers of Excellence" and "The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management". See his full profile on LinkedIn.

Last Updated on 06 August 2012

Good practices for audio and video conferences

Created on 13 August 2007 Written by Jean Binder
Hits: 2126
Image © Carole Nickerson | Dreamstime.comMany global project managers and team members have had poor experiences of meetings held via audio and video conferencing. Misunderstandings, conflicts, background noises and excessive idle time until all participants are connected are all examples of situations that create frustration for the meeting participants. Some people even abandon the use of video conferencing, and concentrate on using only audio conferencing, sometimes combined with web conferencing tools. 

The chapter 22 of the Global Project Management book describes how the implementation of basic rules and practices can improve the efficiency of communication by audio and video conferencing.


The first step is to understand how effective meetings via audio and video conferencing are, and identify the areas for improvement. You can develop a structured interview to understand the current caveats and start collecting recommendations. You can then combine the outcome of the interviews with other recommendations in the book, and write the first set of good practices for audio and video conferences.


Types of good practices for audio conferences:

-          How to book audio-conferences

-          How to be prepared for an audio-conference

-          How to host an audio-conference

-          What should be avoided during an audio-conference


Types of good practices for video conferences:

-          How to plan for a video conference

-          How to be prepared for an video conference

-          How to host a video  conference

-          What should be avoided during a video conference


Image © Carole Nickerson | 

Last Updated on 31 July 2012

A mindmap on audio and video techniques

Created on 11 April 2008 Written by Jean Binder
Hits: 1953

Download a mindmap that can help you to improve the efficiency of meetings via audio and video conferencing tools.

Click here to download a mindmap on audio and video techniques

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
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