How to organize an American Team in the framework of international P3
Public Private Partnership (P3) Project Management involves organizing a massive amount of resources. The resources include everything from time, costs, materials, stakeholders and (most important) people. In today's society Americans are increasingly independent. Americans think for themselves, focus on their internal desires and express themselves from an introverted prospective.
How do you get the most out of people who tend to think for themselves?
INDEPENDENCE VS. COLLECTIVE SOCIETY
Lets look at a collective society. The type of society you draw resources from influences your management style. Most importantly your ability to communicate is limited by the way you speak to people. Therefore its wise to know your audience before approaching them with a communication.
A few common traits of collective cultures include:
1. Social rules focus on promoting selflessness and putting the community needs ahead of individual needs
2. Working as a group and supporting others is essential
3. People are encouraged to do what's best for society
4. Families and communities have a central role
In collective cultures, people are considered "good" if they are generous, helpful, dependable, and attentive to the needs of others. This contrasts with individualistic cultures that often place a greater emphasis on characteristics such as assertiveness and independence.
A few countries considered collective include Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Guatemala, Indonesia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, and India.
US individualism is reﬂected in (a) self-reliance with competition, (b) low concern for the in-group, (c) psychological distance from the in-group.
Collective cultures typically contrast with individualistic cultures. Collective cultures stress importance of community. Individualism focuses on the rights and concerns of each person. Collective cultures value unity and selflessness. Independence and personal identity are highly stressed in individualistic cultures.
COMMUNICATING WITH TWO (2) SOCIETIES
As a Project Manager attempting to bridge the gap of competing cultures across language barriers what is the secret? What is it we can implement to create harmony and cohesion?
It starts with setting up structure. Individuals are not exempt from organization and adherence to organization is the focus of all success. There exist few documented successes that simply made it across the finish line with no plan, strategy or methodology. Nearly all will agree plans are necessary. Individuals are not exempt from being held accountable.
The Communication Plan is set up in simple "Who", "What", "When", "Where", "Why" & "How". Take a look at a draft example we are utilizing for a three (3) country / jurisdiction project:
In Figure 1.1 what we see is clear distinction of who does what. Notice there is no process that is documented. TLe means "Team Lead Legal", TLs means "Team Lead Legal Securities Law", CS means "Chief of Staff", and PS means "Project Sponsor".
The point of a Communication Plan is to provide accountability. Both individuals and collectives are concerned with looking bad. Shame is a common human emotion that all societies share. How each one expresses the emotion is the same. How people view accountability are the same. How each person chooses to communicate is what differs. Values and morals are different. Tasks for projects are the same in each area. Project have a commonality in this respect.
By not defining the method of implementation the Communication Plan sets out roles, responsibilities, accountability and organization without "guidance".
STRENGTHS OF EACH TYPE
Collective members will naturally approach you for direction. Individuals will understand their roles and perform. The communication plan should always include a "Standard" that needs to be met. Individuals recognize the "Standard" as acceptable. Individuals will work independently to discover the best way to reach the Standard. Collectives will ask what is the best approach you will be pleased with.
The dynamic of collectives seeking guidance means tasks that are repetitive, task oriented and very procedural should be assigned to collectives. Collectives will value the quality control, the steps that need to be followed, and appreciate discipline. Individuals tends to rebel against repetitive tasks and do not work well at repeating the same thing exactly as they are told.
Conversely individuals seek to exceed a standard that is set before them. Tasks that have no guide post, no general approach and are new should be assigned to individuals. Individuals are creative, intuitive and value innovation. Goals are more important than processes. Therefore tasks where clarity is not there or you have little references to go by should be assigned to individuals.
IMPLEMENTING TASKS & CLOSING ITEMS
How to implement each task needs to be held to agreed upon formally. The project manager must discover a way to obtain sign offs, approvals and methodologies. Scope of work is important. Documenting each item through Statement of Work (SOW) is the most important aspect. Each project team member should submit their SOW and attach a schedule. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) can occur only when people know what tasks are. Gannt Charts will be inaccurate without understanding the tasks associated with each step.
Closing the items out come with documented completion of the WBS. At Knight Advisory & Planning we are familiar, accountable and offer free initial consultations to assess the strength of your communication plans. Let us take a look at your structure today to recommend how we might improve upon your Project Charter, Statement of Work, Scope or Gannt Chart. Small dollars now avoid large expenses later.
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Knight Advisory & Planning (KAP) is the only company to primarily focus on Public Private Partnerships (P3) since 2006. KAP operations are spread across countries of the world to serve this need. KAP Network consists of core partners surrounded by interlocking networks of consultants and affiliates in key trading countries and disciplines. We maintain Master Project Manager (MPM) who are American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) certified and are experienced in the following industries: construction, development, finance, technology, FinTech, biotechnology, production, R&D, and manufacturing. With over twenty (20) years of experience let us guide you through the P3 process.