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Project Charters Bridge Cultures

Delivered at the PMI NJ Chapter International Project Management Day Seminar

Recorded November 2, 2006

Presented by Alex S. Brown, PMP. Find out more about Alex at http://www.alexsbrown.com/.

About Alex S. Brown, PMP

Two Most Political Words: Yes and No

Picture of Alex

What does “Yes” mean?

We need to know what “Yes” means!

Picture of a question mark

Topics for This Session

What is a project charter?

Definition from PMBOK Guide 3rd Edition

Authority, Authority, Authority

Picture of a key

How Charters Bridge Culture

Use of Silence

Key part of the meeting

“Let the decision emerge from the silence”

Benefits for Japanese Staff

Q: Different process to bridge cultures?

“Is there a difference between the charter you would put together to bridge culture gaps and a regular charter? Because to me they seem like the same thing.”

Benefits for Japanese Staff

Benefits for U.S. Staff

Charter Template

Project Charter Process

Picture of progress from an idea (lightbulb) to paper to a meeting to a stamp of approval

The Charter Answers Key Questions for Negotiations

Cultural Negotiation Obstacles

Q: Is silence only for US staff?

“You were talking about the delay in a meeting. They do not answer a question, and there is a long silence in a decision. Does that seem to be the case because you are American project managers and they are Japanese, and they need time to think, versus if they were in Japan with all Japanese committee members, the Japanese project managers with the same culture, would they make a decision faster versus the delay?”

A father and son…

Picture of a man working a rice field Photo by Peter Hermeling (Pinkvelden)

Son wants to go to Tokyo

Three skyscrapers in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo Photo by Jan Nunnink (BigBabou)

Who will run the farm?

Old house or barn in a rice field. Photo taken in Vietnam. Photo by Nico van Geldere (vangeldere)

Q: Do you use translation services?

“What is the role of translation services within your job? Do you use it?”

Charters Demonstrate Organizational Maturity

Benefits of a Formal Process

Picture of hand holding a clipboard

Process Can Overcome Culture

When does “Yes” mean “Yes, You Have Authority”?

When it is documented and approved in the charter!

Any organization will benefit by improving their project charters

Q: What is the role of informal communication?

(Question inaudible over the noise)
“You’ve been talking … informal communication … brainstorming … opposition … how would you do that?”

Contact Information

Contact me anytime with questions about project management:

Alex S. Brown, PMP
alexsbrown@alexsbrown.com
http://www.alexsbrown.com
Real-Life Projects, Inc.
http://www.rlprj.com

Project Charters Bridge Cultures

Delivered at the PMI NJ Chapter International Project Management Day Seminar

Recorded November 2, 2006

Presented by Alex S. Brown, PMP. Find out more about Alex at http://www.alexsbrown.com/.