Culture Resource Centre

Project Team Workshop: Pulling Together an Effective Diverse and Remote Project Team

Pulling Together an Effective Diverse and Remote Project Team for a company in the Mining and Resources Industry
(2013 and 2014)

Our client works with a dispersed project team with members based in Australia and Philippines. First phase of the project had serious quality issues with missed deadlines and challenges to the budget. Unexpected cultural differences led to communication breakdown, lack of feedback and much time was spend by the Australian team to closely managing and monitoring the team in Manila.  A common complaint was that ‘we could have done it quicker ourselves’. Our brief was to prepare management and professionals before they head off to Manila again to start with the second phase of the project.


  1. Australian team members (HQ) assess their cultural competence and abilities to deal with culturally diverse situations: strength and potential pitfalls explored. Participants receive confidential personal feedback with recommendations for improvement
  2. Participants fill in Training Needs Analysis to identify challenges, experiences and expectations of participants in the project team.
  3. Face-to-Face training workshops
    – to increase cultural know-how, cultural behaviour and styles
    – to explore challenges and experiences from phase one
    – action planning around individual and team cultural competence
  4. Country Specific Briefing – business etiquettes, do’s and don’ts, communication styles etc.)
  5. Developing of practices following our reconciliation process, defining dilemmas and integrating cultural gaps.
  6. Participants complete Training Feedback Analysis and reports are shared with organisation and contact persons.

The ‘Pulling Together an Effective Remote Project Team’ training was facilitated to all Australian project members (and management) before the second phase of the project in Manila commenced. The start of the second phase marked a complete different approach towards the Filipino project members: the Australians focused on relationship building, developing trust and sharing of business information. Additional time was spent on upfront knowledge transfer and training, and for continuous on the job learning. Communication practices were jointly agreed on and created a trusted environment of information sharing, and processes were put in place to assure that information exchange was accurate and sufficient for the Manila team to work on a job and for the Australian team immediate to be updated on the status. Success was almost immediate and the feedback from both teams was that there was a collaborative work environment in which all felt to be part of the team. We proceeded implementing the program and trained the whole division to prepare them to enhance intercultural interactions and ultimately the business outcomes.

We assist various corporate clients from different industries who deal with remote short-term project teams with similar team challenges in for example Asia (China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, ), and Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, UK).