Caution should be taken in selecting subcontractors and negotiating subcontract languages. This requires a thorough knowledge of the local government and non government requirements including the local content requirement. Sometimes a project specific JV may be a better approach to mitigate some of the risks associated with subcontractors. A thorough understanding of these is important even before a project bid is prepared, let alone during the project execution stage. Very often that becomes a catch up effort and creates a lot of difficulties to assimilate and implement. It may seem obvious, but if you are working across borders, it is unlikely that your project team will all speak the same language. Here at Ten Six Consulting, we work with partners in England on a regular basis, and even between US and UK English there are differences that sometimes need explaining. The problem of a common language is far greater if you are working with colleagues who do not routinely work in your language. Success of this activity is dependent on the technical knowledge as well as requirement of local government and other non governmental entities where the project is located. Special attention to and consideration of these requirements and integrating them ahead in the project execution planning (PEP) is very important for any international project.
In addition to the required technical and business skills, key traits to consider for globalnassignments include, for instance: cultural sensitivity, interpersonal skills,and flexibility. The average cost of sending an employee and family onan overseas assignment is reportedly between three and five times the employee’s pre-departure salary; as a result, quantifying total costs for aglobal assignment and deciding whether to use an expatriate or a local employee are essential in the budgeting process. The assignee specific job requirement and associated pay have to be documented and formally communicated in an assignment letter. There are many ways in which to compensate employees who are transferred abroad, given the vast differences in living expenses around the world. The assignee will probably have to be assisted with such matters as maintenance of the person’s home and automobiles shipment and storage of household goods, and so forth. Cultural orientation, educational assistance and emergency provisions are just some of matters to be addressed before the family is sent abroad.
Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The basic problem involved is the degree of human inequality that underlies the functioning of each particular society. Uncertainty avoidance refers to the extent to which a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual. The basic problem involved is the degree to which a society tries to control the uncontrollable. Individualism, versus its opposite, collectivism, is the degree to which individuals are supposed to look after themselves or remain integrated into groups, usually around the family. Positioning itself between these poles is a very basic problem all societies face. Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of emotional roles between the genders, which is another fundamental problem for any society. This distinction opposes “tough” masculine and “tender” feminine societies. The duality of the sexes is a fundamental fact with which different societies cope in different ways. Long-term versus short-term orientation refers to the extent to which a culture programs its members to accept delayed gratification of their material, social, and emotional needs. Hofstede’s research shows country scores on a Long-term Orientation Index (LTO) for 23 countries. East Asian countries (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea) scored highest. Western countries were on the low side, and some developing countries (Zimbabwe, Philippines, Nigeria, and Pakistan) scored lowest
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Issues in International Projects
• Understanding and cementing out the project scope (SOW)
• Implementing a disciplined approach to engineering (from
the conceptual stage to detailed engineering)
• Arriving at various levels of cost estimates with the progress
of the project execution:
Issues in International Projects…
• Selecting and managing the subcontractors
• Understanding the in-country rules, regulations
• Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H)
Selection & Training Of Employees
• Candidate identification, assessment, and
• Cost projections.
• Assignment letters.
• Compensation, benefits, and tax programs.
• Relocation assistance.
• Family support.
• Power distance
• Uncertainty avoidance
• Individualism, versus its opposite, collectivism,
• Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity
• Long-term versus short-term orientation