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Interview with Grzegorz Albinowski (member #1500)

Created on 11 April 2008 Written by Jean Binder
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In the interview below (conducted on the occasion of the 1500th membership in our LinkedIn group), Grzegorz Albinowski talks about his experience as a global project manager, and how innovative forms of project structures can influence the success of global programs.

What was the most complex situation you lived on a global project, and how did you survive?
Working on a transition project to deliver a new and better IT organisation in a multinational corporation, where it was quite a challenge to convince IT managers and employees in 30 European countries to do some project work at scheduled time while using standardised processes and procedures. The schedule was to migrate 25% of the server park with their databases and applications each month to complete the main phase of the project in four months. It was quite difficult to make everybody happy with the schedule. The solution was to assign an "account manager" to each big country or a cluster of smaller countries. Their role was to communicate project aims and tasks, gather feedback, be the first point of contact and work as a project PR officer. The project was a huge success.

What do you enjoy about working on global projects?
Meeting new people from all different cultures, religions and backgrounds, and the names come across in a different context. One funny story on this was that we had two excellent Unix experts called "Jesus", as their first name, based in Mexico. One day the online conversation was something like:

Greg: Hi Jesus, I need your help - and the instant reply was ...

Jesus: Anything for you Greg, just ask away!

We can also learn interesting things about cultures and public holidays. As one example from the opposite hemisphere: Chinese New Year (late January / early February) is also a public holiday in Singapore. And if it happens on a Sunday, they extend the day off on Monday.

What are the main challenges you face on your day-to-day project management, particular to Global Projects?
A simple task may be very dificult in a different culture, while a difficult one may become very easy. Time and and resource planning is endangered. Try to communicate and excercise the Chinese proverb: if you ask a question you maybe ashamed once, if you don't ask you will be ashamed your whole life. 

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?
The framework of the 25 knowledge areas provides an excellent checklist tool to ask and answer the crucial question we all face in our work: What else can I do to improve the governance of my global project?

What word of advice would you give to other global project managers?
The top issue in all global projects is to establish a "One Team" feeling with the "Can Do" attitude among the team members and stakeholders. Start by delivering something and they will pay you back twice in their daily contribution and devotion. We can do it Wink.

 

In case you already read the book "Global Project Management : Communication, Collaboration and Management Across Borders", what is your opinion?
I am ordering a copy right now! Laughing

 

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Grzegorz
Grzegorz Albinowski is an IT Governance Coordinator and Project Manager, with a mission to implement, monitor and control best practices in IT service, project and programme management (ITIL 2 & 3, Cobit 4.1, Val-IT, IT Value Chain, Six Sigma, PMI PMBOK, PRINCE2, MSP), increase effectiveness of IT investments by aligning them with corporate strategy to improve company’s competitive position. See his profile on LinkedIn and invite him to join your network. 

 

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

Selecting the best structure for your global project

Created on 12 August 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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 Image © Anna Cieślak | Dreamstime.comInternational projects can be structured in different ways, depending on the project size, complexity, types, organisational structures and the creation of work packages according to functional or regional criteria. The maturity level of the organisation on global project management and the level of experience of the project manager, project coordinators and team members on global projects are also key factors when choosing between the different project structures.

The chapter 11 of the “Global Project Management” book presents some examples of basic structures for global projects:

·        Centralised project management

·        Distributed project management, with local coordinators

·        Distributed project management, with functional coordinators

·        Round-the-clock project management

·        Project management global network

 

Experienced project managers will often apply a combination of these structures according to the organisational culture and the availability of resources.

 

Some organisations may prefer to have mainly collocated teams and opt for the structures with local coordinators, while others prefer to employ virtual teams and can opt for the centralised structure. The first group of organisations can have difficulty in finding resources available in the right location, and can use expatriation and temporary assignments to fill their requirements. The second group will employ the right resources in any possible company location, and need to have a high maturity in project management and worldwide adoption of the Global Project Management Framework®.

 

Image © Anna Cieślak | Dreamstime.com 

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 

A mindmap on global project structures

Created on 25 January 2008 Written by Jean Binder
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Download a mindmap that can help you to define the best project structure for your situation.

Click here to download a mindmap on global project structures

Last Updated on 31 July 2012
 
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