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Rodney Turner

Rodney Turner是金斯顿商学院和法国里尔SKEMA商学院的项目管理教授,他同时担任SKEMA商学院项目和项目集管理方向博士学位项目的学术总监和导师。他还是悉尼科技大学、Kemmy商学院Limerick校区、得雷塞尔大学费城校区的兼职教授。Rodney Turner曾经在石化行业工作,并由此进入项目管理领域,曾任ICI公司石化工厂的设计、建造和维护机械工程师和项目经理。之后,他进入毕马威事务所担任管理咨询师,为造船、生产制造、电信、计算机、财务、政府和其他行业提供服务。之后,他在亨利管理学院任项目管理教学主任,并在荷兰鹿特丹大学(又称荷兰鹿特丹伊拉斯姆斯大学)任项目管理教授,从2004年开始任职于法国里尔商学院(现SKEMA商学院)。Rodney Turner于2013年开始任教于金斯顿商学院。Rodney Turner是16本专著的作者和主编,同时也是International Journal of Project Management的主编。他是英国项目管理协会副会长、荣誉研究员和前主席,国际项目管理协会前总裁和主席,国际董事学会成员,机械工程师学会院士。

Risk on International Projects

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2014年09月10日   

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  The issue of risk management on international projects is not so much how to manage the risks – standard methods can be applied, but the nature of those risks. In the past, when managing those risks, people tended to just extrapolate standard risk management. They apply risk management according to the PMI PMBOK Guide (Project Management Institute, 2013), or other standards, and then think of additional risks that arise because they are doing projects overseas. That may well work if you are doing projects in another developed country, but risks in developing countries can be of a different dimension or of a different order of magnitude. I have two PhD students researching risk management in West Africa, one is Nigerian looking specifically at Nigeria, and the other is from Senegal, but looking at several West African countries. He identified a project in Nigeria where the project manager was kidnapped when the project was 75% complete. The project stopped for three years and did not start again until the project manager was released. (I don’t know why they didn’t find someone else to be project manager, but perhaps nobody wanted to do it.) That completely destroyed the cash flows and although the project was completed it was never profitable. A German colleague of mine in a former life was working on a project in Nairobi. He said that English colleagues were regularly abducted, beaten up and dumped. They were never killed, but they were always on the next plane home. It never happened to him, perhaps because he was German.


  John Eweje, Ralf Müller and I identified the following risks on international projects (Eweje et al, 2012):


  ? Project contract and procurement management;


  ? Relationships with the host government – the decision mechanisms of host governments are often unclear and can lead to significant complications;


  ? Relationships with the host community;


  ? Management of joint venture interfaces;


  ? Health, safety, security and environmental matters;


  ? Management of multi-site fabrication and facilities integration;


  ? Use of local content;


  ? Project governance;


  ? Management of the project team, individual aspirations and job satisfaction;


  ? Attainment of cohesion within the broad team;


  ? Multi-cultural leadership within the project.


  The United Nations have identified eight principles of good governance of nations (Sheng, 2008). The risk associated with doing business in a country will depend significantly on the extent those principles operate in a country:


  1. Participation: is a cornerstone of good governance. Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives. Participation needs to be informed and organized. For example, it is not always possible to engage with the government department where you would obtain planning permissions.


  2. Rule of law: Good governance requires fair laws that are enforced impartially. It also requires protection of human rights, particularly for minorities. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptiblepolice force. The example of the project manager being kidnapped is a case in point. Corruption is another example.


  3. Transparency: Decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. Information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement. Adequate information is provided and is easily understandable. For example, the process by which you obtain planning permission and the criteria by which your application is judged is not clear.


  4. Responsiveness: Institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. For example, people are biased in their decision making. Corruption will not help here.


  5. Consensus oriented: Different interests in society reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of the community. There is a broad and long-term perspective on what is needed for sustainable development and how to achieve that. This can only result from an understanding of the historical, cultural and social contexts of a given society. For example, pressure groups can lead to one policy being favoured over another for irrational reasons.


  6. Equity and inclusiveness: A society’s well being depends on ensuring its members feel they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded. This requires that all groups, but particularly the most vulnerable, have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being. For example, the local community feel they do not have a stake in the project and so resist it.


  7. Effectiveness and efficiency: Processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources. Efficiency also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment. Government bureaucracy is slow, leading to delays in planning permission. I have a PhD student researching poor infrastructure in sub-Saharan countries in Africa. Poor infrastructure results from and causes poor effectiveness and efficiency resulting in delays.


  8. Accountability: This is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law. Government agents are not accountable for their decisions and so they are based on bias and corruption and not sound argument.


  Item 6 above suggests that acceptance of the project by the local community is a risk (Eweje et al, 2012). Projects can meet very strong resistance from the local community. This can be one of the most significant risks faced by project managers on large overseas projects. Examples include:


  1. Oil projects in the Niger Delta are meeting increasingly strong resistance from the local community.


  2. A Finnish company was trying to build a paper mill on the Uruguayan side of the river that forms the Uruguayan-Argentinean border. The Argentinean side was an area of natural beauty and a tourist resort and the paper mill was going to be an eyesore. It created significant cross border strife.


  3. I was interviewing somebody recently for a project I am doing investigating ethics onprojects (Müller et al, 2012). He was relating a story of a project he was involved in to develop an aluminium smelter on India. He was working for one of two Western companies in a joint venture with three Indian companies. The land the smelter was to be built on was farmed by a primitive hunter-gatherer tribe the Indians treated as inferior to the untouchables. The consortium had bought the land, but it was not owned by the farmers. Then the project was delayed by two years while the consortium partners argued, and the farmers continued to farm the land. Then they came to ask the farmers to move and they refused and started demonstrating. Because they were below untouchables, the Indian partners thought nothing of killing them. There was also a generational difference. The population had been growing and the young people wanted the jobs, but the older people only knew farming and could not learn to do the new jobs. My interviewee’s company ethically could not continue with this. The other Western company continued for a bit but then also had to withdraw.


  There is an issue in project management whereby people mainly focus on technical risks, whereas from the discussion above you will realize most of the risks on international projects are people risks. An example is the project to build the fixed link between Sweden and Denmark, from Copenhagen Airport to Malmo (Turner, 2009). By identifying and managing 10 major risks they managed to reduce the project duration by six months. The 10 risks were:


  ? Interface management;


  ? Element fabrication;


  ? Owner’s organization;


  ? Joint venture;


  ? Bridge accidents;


  ? Tunnel accidents;


  ? Tunnel design;


  ? Labour and materials;


  ? Weather;


  ? Road test conditions.


  They are primarily people risks, and you won’t find them in standard lists of risks. In 1987, I was at a meeting of an organization called the Major Projects Association. The after-dinner speaker was a man called Lord Pennock, then chairman of the Channel Tunnel Consortium, which was just beginning to build the Channel Tunnel. The audience was full of senior managers from British industry, directors and general managers. After his speech, Lord Pennock took questions, and the first was what were the major risks of the project? Lord Pennock said the major risks were:


  ? They wouldn’t get the bills through the British or French parliaments.


  ? They wouldn’t raise the necessary finance.


  ? The people of Kent or Calais would block the project.


  The audience, said, ‘No, no, no. They weren’t interested in those sorts of risks. They were interested in the technical risks’. Lord Pennock said there weren’t any. It was basically an easy project; building a railway tunnel. The audience, said, ‘No, no, no. It couldn’t be. This was the biggest project ever undertaken in Britain at that time’. Sorry, said Lord Pennock, the risks were people risks. That I hope is the major lesson when you are undertaking international projects. Don’t forget about the local population (especially the politicians).


责任编辑:师冬平

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