Culture in Multinational Projects


By Germán Bernate

Bogota, Colombia


In the decades of the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century there was a boom in projects involving several countries. In the former a customer with branches in several countries hired a company that provides hardware and software to install a novel solution that would allow them to provide their customers with new services. With this strategy they could achieve a leadership position in their marketing segment.

There is a new problem that must be addressed immediately: the difference in the culture of the stakeholders.

In 1965 the International Project Management Association (IPMA) was founded. Your mission: to teach about Project Management. Its emphasis is the development of three competences: technical, behavioral and contextual.

In 1969 the Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded: At one dinner James Snyder, Eric Jennett and Gordon Davis met. Its purpose: to create an organization that will bring Project Managers together so that they can share information and study common problems within their work. Companies that sell hardware and software since the late 1950s and early 1960s had developed methodologies for project management and administration. They were eagerly seeking a common technical language that would allow the exchange of information between regions.

Common Tools and Common Language

The emphasis was on the costs and schedule. The tool available for time management was the Gantt Diagram (GANTT ®) developed by the engineer Henry Gantt (1910). In a later step we worked with the Critical Path Method (CPM®) that resolved the use of predecessor activities and the layout of large networks. In 1957, the Department of Defense’s Special Projects Office of the United States Department of Defense, in its work to build the Polaris submarine, developed the Program evaluation and review technique (PERT®).


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About the Author

Germán Bernate

Bogota, Colombia



Germán Bernate
is an Electronic Engineer (Universidad Distrital – 1962) and Master in Project Management (UCI University of Costa Rica 2009). He worked 31 years for IBM in Colombia in managerial and technical positions. He was work with NCR Colombia and served as Program Manager and Project Manager. Founder and CEO of Almagesto  (2004), a company dedicated to consulting and training in the areas of strategic planning and project management. In 1992 he won the first prize in the fourth edition of Doctor Zumel Literary Contest in Madrid Spain. President of the Board of Teatro Colón for five years (2007-2011). Led the Project Management program at Universidad Piloto August 2008 to December 2009. Parquesoft Director during the period from August 2010 to March 2011. Professor at universities Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas, Nacional, Javeriana, Pamplona, Tecnológica de Bolívar, Andes, Externado, America and Piloto. Co-founder Colombia Chapter PMI (Project Management Institute) and its president for three terms. Co-founder of the Colombian Association ACGePro Project Management IPMA Member Association (International Project Management Association).

He has published several books, including ‘El año 2000 al acecho. La crisis del Y2K afectará a su computador, aprenda a controlarla’on the issue of the change of the millennium. In February 2013, published as the book ‘Gerencia de Proyectos: aplicaciones en salud’. Computerworld Editorial Board Member since 1996 and international correspondent for PM World Today eJournal and PMForum.org from 2007-2011. Contact email: [email protected]