Cross Cultural Project Challenges


A recent article that appeared in the Australian Media (ABC News 27 April 2019 ) reported on the issues facing the Australian Future Submarine Project which is a collaboration between Naval Group a French ship builder and Australian engineering teams. From the commencement of the project, issues arose in terms of communication, culture clashes and misunderstandings.
In our experience, when high level negotiations and agreements are made, they tend to focus on the macro and conceptual level. It is only when projects are executed that the challenges arise, these include; a lack of trust, increased costs, timeline delays, frustration and miscommunication.
Even though there is some work being done on raising awareness of the cross-cultural aspect of the project, a key component that needs to be considered is bringing the teams together and mapping out the Rules of Engagement so all parties clearly understand the project parameters and the protocols to follow in the event that issues arise.