International projects need special leadership skills and awareness to enable managers to harness challenges and create opportunities for success. Leadership and management skills are important the successful execution of international projects. It requires proper budget control, cost, time and the quality of deliverables. Challenges are two fold, that is, technical and cultural or non-technical. Proper project execution is very necessary to understand the scope of the project. This is the initial step in international project execution. Good understanding of the scope of the project is of paramount importance (Paul et al, 2005). International project managers face a variety of international challenges. For instance time zones are very important. To manage such a challenge, it is important to provide incentives to the project team members to avoid excessive costs of hiring volunteers. Protecting the interests of the home team is a role of the project managers. The project team managers have the responsibility of educating the team members on how to work well together and manage upwards to ensure that project senior stakeholders understand the difficulties on the project type.
International projects are associated with high costs of travel. The other challenge is co-location therefore managing projects that are split in several countries can be difficult to manage. Co-location leads to effective decision making, and provides attention to detail thereby causing attention and detail assisting the management team to form partnerships. An international project where the management team is not based on in the same location suffers from poor communication, lack of direction and procurement problems. The success of international projects requires the mastery of many challenges in a complex context. Due to differences in legal issues and political environments, economic factors and security issues, and infrastructural limitations, have complicated international project management. Other issues include the geographic positioning, language and cultural barriers that affects the execution of international projects with further provides additional risks.
It is the responsibility of international project managers to train the management team on the relevant legal issues, political issues, security issues, economic aspects, infrastructure and cultural aspects that may have implications to project activities. Cultural factors are mostly overlooked but always have significant impacts on planning and execution of international projects. Project team members should be to understand more risk cultures which might lead to disappointing results. Projects management team may reduce the chances of risks occurring by diverting the performance aspects but attempting to work on making he project successful. They will be able to execute time critical projects in cultures where fate and patient are crucial values. Training will offer the management team with vital cultural characteristics in accordance to projects priorities (Lewis, 2006).
Training will enable the management team to have a good approach in selecting international partners. Since companies are characterized with differing core values, objectives, and goals. Partnering with other organizations requires adequate aligning goals and objectives, therefore it is necessary to identify and mutually acknowledge value differences on international project partnerships.
In conclusion, it is the role of international project managers to train and support the right project leaders at all levels. They should be able to adjust to cultural differences and be able to manage projects systems and structures for timely communication and observance of high quality standards.