International Project Experience

Project Manager, Caterpillar’s Development & Learning Center, Panama

Overall responsibility for CM team providing consulting services on commercial building installations from planning and design phase through final project closeout. Oversight of budgets and project controls systems, bid and award of subcontracts, procurement, prepare strategies for procurement and phasing, quality control.  Managed installation of systems and transition to turn-over and occupancy.

Senior Project Manager, Projects, US Government and US Navy Facility Engineering Commands

Managed a US. Navy project to complete technical data surveys for two US Navy Facility Engineering Commands (FECs) in the US. Extensive documentation and reporting were required   for the coordination and compilation of data into a formal technical document to the client. Project responsibilities included proposal management for CONUS and OCONUS projects.  Managed the efforts to set up project reporting, including the project execution plan for an $800M multi-year program management contract for the U.S. Government.

Senior Project Manager, Wyeth Pharmaceutical Expansion, Canada

Responsibilities included the procurement and construction activities required for a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility expansion. Project required integration of a new expansion into the existing facility.

Senior Project Manager, Gorman Rupp Industries Phase 2, Mansfield, OH

Responsible for the design, procurement and construction for a 450,000 square foot manufacturing complex. Established project mobilization, budget, and procurement of subcontract services; outlined permitting requirements to allow environmental applications through the U.S. Government, State of Ohio and the City of Mansfield to proceed.

Senior Project Manager, U.S. Dept. of Defense, Iraq/Kuwait

Responsible for design/build projects completed for the U.S. Military in Iraq and Kuwait under cost-reimbursable and firm-fixed-price contracts.  Projects were of large-scale industrial types, and were executed under difficult circumstances that ranged from high voltage transmission lines to sweet water canal and pumping station refurbishment, medium voltage distribution systems including substations, dam repair and underground sanitary repairs. Specific projects included:

  • 400kV 260-KM long high voltage transmission line repair, Baiji/Baghdad, start to finish fast track project directly managed to successful repair and energizing;
  • Sadr City underground sanitary sewer repair, deep point repairs up to 6 to 8-meters deep, high pressure jetting of large diameter UG pipe;
  • Basra Sweet water canal repair, 220KM long with two lift stations, 8 cubic meters per second flow, deep excavations for embankment repair, complete rework of standby power, 1 cubic meter per second pump rebuild, etc.
  • Adhaim Dam; assessment of existing incomplete project, completed engineering study to determine stability and work required to complete the project;
  • Diyala Governate medium voltage electrical distribution system including substations;
  • Kuwait/Iraq Border Crossing Facility, design/build firm fixed price fast track directly managed from start to finish, on time and under budget. Extreme conditions in remote location.

Project Manager, LSP Organization, Bronx, NY

Managed subcontract work required to expedite construction at a health care facility.  Priced changes initiated by the owner or required due to field conditions, maintained close coordination with the owner, and conducted negotiations with the subcontractors.

Regional Operations/Project Manager, Lucent Technologies, Delco Electronics, Johnson Controls, General Electric, General Motors

Overall responsibility for design/build projects (for Lucent, Avaya and Global Crossings) in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Mexico, Venezuela, and the US.  Work involved design and construction of facilities for manufacturing, corporate offices, warehousing, etc.  Projects were executed under fixed-price and cost-reimbursable contracts.  Responded to clients’ demands and expectations, ISO 9001 compliance requirements, reporting, etc.

International Projects

The fact that most companies do not only obtain growth from their domestic markets is well known among the business community. Moving the focus successfully to an unknown international environment is becoming more and more important in order for a company to keep a competitive advantage and increase shareholder value. Now that operations are brought to an international level, projects have to be executed increasingly across borders and cultures. This setting has a strong impact on the known universe of successful project management.

The theory sounds simple. In order to complete a project successfully, four factors have to be properly managed. These four factors are time, cost, quality, and the project’s scope. Although these are not the only factors that effect a project. There are multitudes of additional obstacles to overcome that run parallel to the day-today business processes of a project. These obstacles produce further challenges not only for the company, but also for every individual involved. Too little time available for a project is a result of unclear priorities being set, and insufficient project management experience. These two factors lead to a complication in efficient project realization. International projects raise additional problems. Language barriers and geographic obstacles have to be overcome and even if the language does not seem to be a problem, different cross-cultural interpretations of a single word or an attitude might cause enormous misunderstandings and inefficiencies.

Juhre, F. & Heinen, C. (2000). Managing international and cross-cultural projects. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium, Houston, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.