International projects present more than just language barriers
QAD Business Process
Posted on: February 11, 2010 | By: SuperUser Account |
When presented with a project that reaches outside the borders of the US, there are many factors to consider beyond the obvious language differences. There are local regulations, requirements, standards and customs that should be taken into consideration before you begin. It is also important to consider the impact that cultural differences will play. Typical methods of documentation and training that work in some countries might not work as effectively in another.
I recently spent a few months at a client in Mexico. They were struggling with using QAD’s Kanban module, so the goal was to help them use it more effectively. After a few weeks of one on one training and giving them more helpful documentation, the results were lagging and it became very clear that this standard approach wasn’t reaching them effectively.
One issue, of course, was the language barrier. It took much more effort on my part to get them to open up about the issues they were having and the areas where they didn’t feel very comfortable using the system. Some of their issues were legitimate system issues, but mostly they were convinced they could do a better job planning all of their material in Excel, which was the second major issue. Now I love Microsoft Excel as much as the next person, but there is a time and place for it, and this was not it. But how would I convince them of that?
Well it didn’t happen overnight, but by slowly breaking down the functionality of each screen and comparing it to what they did with Excel they finally began to see the benefits of using QAD’s Kanban module. It improved their ordering accuracy and helped them do their job much more efficiently. By gaining their trust they came to embrace something that really helped them.
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