TWO CONTINENTS - TWO WORLDS? (End Case)


Q1. Where do you see the differences in communication style between the US-American and Germans?

Project managers need to adapt their managerial style to different cultures of diverse stakeholders, and use different forms of communication. In this case, international communication will bring specific challenges.  Here, it's difficult to manage communication of remote teams when it comes to time differences, technological preferences, cultural norms and language. Therefore, the role of the both PM is to find which communication methods will work best for each project and each team member. The PM  in the US might prefer a weekly project summary, while the PM in Germany works better with a detailed project specification. Despite that, if it's done right then an international project with combined cultural approaches can offer better solutions than a local homogeneous project.

Q2. Create a suitable communication governance system on behalf of the American project manager.  
Answer:



Q3. What reasons for the conflicts between the US and German project administration offices can you identify?

An international project can either create teamwork or conflict depending on the kind of people involved. Even if the organizational structure is solid and develops teamwork, individual differences can still generate conflict.  The main reason of the conflict among both project teams are based on project goals that are not agreed on, disagreement of project priorities, week adaptation  and conflicting work schedules.
Main conflicts that occurred and can be identified in the case between both parties were raised from the American side. Especially when the Americans kept requesting many product changes through overcoming the German company standards therefore creating many extra work for the Germans. Also, the Americans kept asking for commercial information which Germans didn't know why they should disclose such information. Moreover, Germans had to deal with different time zones and work late at night leading them to family issues.

Q4. Outline the ground rules for efficient co-operation in the international development team that could have avoided the conflicts.
             
To avoid conflicts, the main rules to achieve an efficient co-operation in an international development team should be based on :
1- Overcoming language diversity.
2- Understanding different communication styles.
3- Using agreed on communication and protocols.
4- Identifying conflict reason.
5- Being aware of different  views on conflict.