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Part 5: The rise of project management, techniques and tools

Operational challenges of working beyond traditional boundaries

As work becomes easier to distribute globally through mergers, acquisitions and alliances taking shape across borders, new operational challenges emerge that can include different business practices and processes, some which may be efficient or culturally accepted by one but seen as inefficient by the other. For example, a simple doctors visit in the UK is a very different process to that in the US or India. Project Managers must now communicate with global teams that may cross cultures, timezones and local HR rules that need to be factored into the project plan.

Tools used by one set of workers may not be available by another for example, a simple document writing application such as MS Word is available in multiple versions - MS Word 2003, 2007 or 2010. Though it’s a word processor operating on different versions can cause frustration and delays reducing team collaboration. If information is dispersed and held on different systems or even a users local machine, then an increase in handling silos of information where data is outdated, duplicated or mapped across systems and applications requiring a coordinated effort to consolidate. Access to the most current data may involve relying on the remote organization to clean, compile and format the data for the project owning organization to then further consolidate and process the data into their systems used to provide project stakeholders with the latest status of the work being performed – which is usually out of date. This can add to the delay to analyze and enforce any corrective measures that may have prevented costs or project delays if enforced sooner.

Furthermore, providing management with the right level of information to make informed decisions can be a daunting task if operating standards, procedures or metrics are not clear or information not available through a central system. These operational challenges can only introduce delays and inaccuracies on sharing critical, validated information to the right people within both organizations to make informed decisions for a successful engagement.

Part 6: The rise of project management, techniques and tools

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