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Assembling the Troops—External

In addition to our internal staff, several consulting and support groups had to be enlisted to cover areas where expertise was lacking and/or resources were not readily available. At the height of activities, there were staffs from no less than 10 consulting companies, Oracle So­lution Support, and IBM Global Applications Support providing services and expertise in the areas of project management, Oracle applications, and hardware/net­work configuration and maintenance.

Handling Cross-Cultural Issues


With implementation activities progressing on several continents simultaneously, cross-cultural issues began to arise that needed addressing. Aside from the most obvi­ous, language difficulties, awareness and sensitivity to interpretations of language and customs had to be ad­dressed. For instance, in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Australia, English is the main language spoken. However, how similar words are spo­ken and used contextually can be very different among these countries. Areas where we had to pay special atten­tion during implementation activities were these:

      Written communications had to be concisely writ­
ten checked for interpretation.

      Instructions and training materials had to be writ­
ten in multiple languages.

      Business calendars containing location-specific work­
week and holiday information had to be taken into
consideration both from a systems and communica­
tions perspective.

      Particular attention to local customs and sensitivi­
ties had to be paid when visiting, speaking, and/or
training at foreign locations.

The real key to a successful implementation involv­ing cross-cultural entities is to have an increased sensi­tivity to the fact that people of different backgrounds are being dealt with and consciously validating commu­nications and information to make sure it is presented in a way that is most understandable to all.

Part 1  Part 2    Part 3   Part 4  

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