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Interview with Rubén Fuentes (member #2100)

Created on 04 May 2008 Written by Jean Binder
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In the interview below (conducted on the occasion of the 2100th membership in our LinkedIn group), Rubén Fuentes talks about his international experience, and how leadership is a key skill for global project managers.

What was the most complex situation you lived on a global project, and how did you survive?
The most complex situation was coordinating time and progress of teams working concurrently in five different locations, with four different time zones and a time difference of up to 9 hours. The engagement incorporated resources from 4 different countries (Mexico, Spain, Ireland and the U.S.), which added complexity to the project as most of the participants would only speak their native languages.

What do you enjoy about working on global projects?
The challenge of dealing with cultural diversity is exciting. In addition, “global” implies by definition a broader reach of the outcome of the project.

What are the main challenges you face on your day-to-day project management, particular to Global Projects?
Many cultures still demand face-to-face interaction to get people into action. Although there’s always some traveling time involved, the challenge is twofold: aligning interests in order to get people’s commitment to results and reinforcement on the use of collaboration tools to get things done.

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 believe the Global Project Management Framework as it is right now is a good starting point when trying to offer a principles guide to the global PM. I would suggest that along with the abstracts presented in each section, there were business cases and white papers that illustrate different examples and provide alternative approaches to complex situations. In my opinion, the 25 topics represented in the 5 dimensions of the framework provide a well rounded perspective of the key aspects in global project management. I would definitely adopt the model as an addition to the toolset I already use.

What word of advice would you give to other global project managers?
When you go Global, the meaning of “Leadership” exceeds any scholar definition. The Art may even be more important than the Science when dealing with global teams. Effective communication is crucial along the way.

In case you already read the book "Global Project Management : Communication, Collaboration and Management Across Borders" , what is your opinion?
I have not read the book but I sure will very soon.


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Rubén Fuentes has over 15 years of Global Project Management experience, serving companies in a wide range of industries. During his career, Rubén has been involved mainly in Business Process Improvement and IT projects. His professional interests include Internet Strategy and Business Intelligence. He currently manages a project that involves five geographically-dispersed teams in four countries, in two languages. Rubén lectured in 2000 and 2001 the “Deloitte’s Manager School” with the Mexico City office and was guest speaker at ITESM in the following seminars: “Efficient Consumer Response” (1999), “The Consulting Week” (2001) and “Enterprise Transformation” (2002).] . See his full profile on LinkedIn and invite him to join your network. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:20
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