Project Management Institute

The New Leader

How Prepared are You to Lead Your Organization as Global Mega-Trends Change the Face of Business?

1 An Indian project manager is working for a Dutch client. In a review with team members, the client tells the project manager, “You should be ashamed of your first status report.” Which best fits the values of the cultures involved?

  • a. The project manager believes his client is never pleased; the client believes he was motivating the project manager.
  • b. The project manager believes he has been embarrassed in front of team members; the client believes he is saying this out of respect.
  • c. The client believes he is demonstrating he can be trusted to make unpopular decisions; the project manager respects the client for that.
  • d. All of the above

2 You are an IT manager at a multinational company that outsources most of its IT functions to three different suppliers. Recently, some mission-critical applications have been down more frequently than you prefer. In reviewing the company's IT strategy, you decide to:

  • a. Change the three contractors managing IT into a single-source provider.
  • b. Recruit to build a competent internal IT department once again.
  • c. Keep mission-critical IT areas in-house and outsource all other IT activities.
  • d. Discuss with current suppliers how they can improve service.

3 You are overseeing a project that includes establishing a call center to provide customer care services for a new product. With social responsibility in mind, which is the best solution?

  • a. Establish the call center near headquarters, using locals and retired personnel and incorporating flexible work hours.
  • b. Establish the call center abroad in a low-cost region, filling existing job capacity in the area.
  • c. Outsource the call center within the same country.
  • d. Incorporate call center activity within the company's subsidiary office in a different country, creating several additional positions.

4 You are managing the construction of new offices for an environmentally conscious European company. Which sustainable approach do you present to the client?

  • a. You show the site is kept clean and incorporate a green area in one corner of the site where employees can relax.
  • b. You show all waste is collected and sent to a waste segregation plant before final disposal.
  • c. You show that the construction site has dedicated waste segregation areas where regular collections are made.
  • d. You show that the building, once completed, will have segregated waste disposal areas.

5 You are managing a multi-site project, with support from a cross-functional team. Risk management is an integral part of the project, but you are working with a tight schedule and budget. You decide to:

  • a. Focus on preventative actions rather than corrective ones to cut costs.
  • b. Get the cross-functional team to manage its own respective risks.
  • c. Develop the risk management plan and ask for reserve.
  • d. Ask for a 10 percent contingency budget (the standard for your organization) and address risk as and when it arises.

6 You're leading a project in an organization where the attrition rate is high. Knowing the likelihood of a personnel change during the project, you:

  • a. Complain to the human resources manager and hold him or her responsible for staff attrition.
  • b. Drive for commitment from the team members and motivate them to stay on until the project's end.
  • c. Start recruiting new team members.
  • d. Encourage others who stay on the project to work harder to cover for those that might leave.


1 b The Dutch are sometimes described as disrespectful and cold. But to the Dutch, respect is demonstrated by sharing truthful opinions, even when they aren't popular.

2 c Studies show organizations that demonstrate the best ROI keep their core capabilities in-house and outsource non-core capabilities.

3 a Organizations demonstrate social responsibility by employing local capabilities when possible and giving back to their communities.

4 c Although all solutions are attractive, dedicated waste segregation demonstrates that you are a responsible citizen of the community.

5 c A cross-functional, global team is just that, and risk management is a responsibility of the project team. The project team should be accountable for creating a risk management plan and appropriate contingencies to mitigate non-acceptable risks.

6 b In organizations incurring excessive turnover, frequently the most stable place for people can be found within projects. Project managers who create empowering environments are most likely to keep their teams intact.

Contributed by George Merguerian, PMP, Business Management Consultants, European Division, Brussels, Belgium, and a global team comprising Gavin OH, PMP, Asia Pacific Division, Singapore; Murate Ozbilen, Istanbul, Turkey; Tony Eve, PMP, Bristol, England; Bob Gibson, PMP, Ottawa, Canada; and Tom Johns, Ph.D., PMP, Americas Division, Houston, Texas, USA.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

Leadership 2008 /
Leadership 2008



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