The melting pot

Now known as the world's second largest economy, China is presently investing in megaprojects that are transforming the country's physical and economic landscape. To effectively realize these projects, Chinese organizations are adopting project management and adapting it to Chinese culture in ways that are contributing to project management's continuing evolution. This article both discusses how project management is helping Chinese organizations effectively implement projects and how China's approach to practicing project management is expanding current thinking about the discipline's tools, techniques, and processes. In doing so, it looks at China's efforts to become a participant in the global economy and integrate accountability and sustainability into its project management approach. It describes how Chinese project managers typically build trust with stakeholders and gain their commitment, noting how Chinese project managers sometimes engage their senior managers. It also identifies one element that is particular to China's use of project management: Project planning as a low-priority activity. It then discusses China's failure to fully integrate sustainability practices into its projects and identifies its efforts to implement pilot projects involving electric vehicles, smart grids, and LED lighting, among other sustainability pursuits. Accompanying this article are two sidebars: The first notes why the Chinese government's support for project management can play a crucial role in implementing projects; the second describes how project managers working in China can gain the trust of sponsors and stakeholders.
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