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Ford/Mazda

F

Interviewee

120 Engineer

Team Disadvantages

0, 7+

Project Outcome

Successful

Industry

Transportation

Location

Shanghai

Team Risk Tolerance

High

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_FunandProductive

Company

Ford/Mazda


... So for me, the challenges is two things. Actually, it's three things. The one thing is the culture. Second thing is the technical content. The third one is schedule, how we schedule. [5763]
So culture is a very big issue at that time, because you know Chinese people and Japanese people have some of these kind of things because of the history reason, and also Germany people, the culture of Germany people is also very different. So Japanese culture, Chinese culture, and the Germany culture. I work there in Japan with my Japanese customer, but I have to deliver all the information necessary to my Germany colleague. Have them do the [inaudible 00:11:51] job for me, and we regulate in Japan. So I go back to them, give them the feedback again. So this kind of the cycle. [5764]
So the culture is my biggest thing. For example, I think almost all of the Asia people, Japanese people and Chinese people very devoted to their work. That means they overtime work, very long time, overtime work and no any [inaudible 00:12:18], actually I have [inaudible 00:12:19] 'cause I have to do this. But Germany people, it's different things. They much more pertinent to their personal life, but so the one biggest fight among this team is actually just before Christmas. [5728],[5729],[5765]
One team leader from Germany side, he said, "I have to go back to spend the Christmas with my family." But during that time, it's very critical situation for this project so we can not actually ... the team cannot afford to lose him, but he did had to go. And so Japanese clients is very angry about this, and so they say a lot of the bad things to him. Something like this, "I think he is not qualified for this work." But actually, this is not about the personal qualifications. It's about culture. So this is one thing. [5767],[5730],[5766],[5731]
And the second thing is the technical issue. Technical issue is also a big issue, because Japanese people have their own standard, and also Germany people have their own standard, very proud, be proud of that. So Chinese people, I work the between these two, and I'm face this ... face me with [inaudible 00:13:39]. So this makes life difficult, so how to do this? It's a very sensitive issues. [5769],[5732],[5768]
So the one thing to ... this is also regarding the culture. A lot of the meeting, so in the whole project, a lot of the meeting happened. Maybe every day, maybe every time ... one time every week. So for Germany people, the meeting is the place to express, to fight. But for Chinese people and Japanese people, the ... especially for the official meeting, the official meeting is the only place to announce some decision. So it means before the meeting, a lot of the work should be done. We can not waiting until the meeting, hope meeting can give us the solution. [5733],[5770]
So this is big difference. So Germany people can not understand this, so in the beginning they're a lot of the trouble because Japanese people think, "Ah. It's so rude. You fight with clients in the meeting. It's unbelievable." So something like this. [5734],[5771],[5772]
Yeah, finally it's ... anyway, because a lot of the compromise. So anyway, every people have to feel happy. So clients take one step back and the supplier side also take some step ... a step back so we can finally come to a combination and make the team work very well, very smoothly [5773],[5774]
Yeah, finally it's ... anyway, because a lot of the compromise. So anyway, every people have to feel happy. So clients take one step back and the supplier side also take some step ... a step back so we can finally come to a combination and make the team work very well, very smoothly. But this is after a lot of the fighting and the trouble in the beginning because of the culture issue. [5736],[5735]
So, two things. The one thing is some people switch. So team leader leave and new people comes, the people may be more ... have more experience, knowledge about the difference of culture. This is one thing. These other things is some people can not leave. Have to face the truth, have to adjust to it, themselves to fit it. To face the real life. [5737],[5739],[5738]
And these kind of things, I think the important things is for this kind of the fighting is there should be a coordinator in the top of the different team. He can ... how to say? He can little bit forecast all this trouble, coming trouble in [inaudible 00:16:33]. Or, he can ... he have enough power to influence all the team member to try convince the team, convince the team and try to make some ... to be a combination finally. So this coordinator is very important for this. [5740]
Actually, 200. This project my company hired for one global coordinator. So the global coordinator is located in ... fortunately, located in China. But he has a very long working experience in group, so he has enough power to influence the top and he has enough strong pipeline with clients because they worked together long ago. He is the key person, and he is the main decision maker. [5741]
So it means they want ... they prefer, the clients prefer more existing solution rather than innovation one. But this is only in mechanical manufacturer's side. This is from client's side. And also for supplier's side, we also try to use some new but ... some new but existing solution rather than brand new idea because this is a low risk and easy to handle. [5775]
Yeah, it's high. Have to say it's high. I don't know it's ... if this is normal in US company. Normally, in Asian company, clients always ask for evidence. In other words, they ask for evidence. For example, if you want to apply offer some solution, they always go ask for, "Do you have really experience for this solution before?" So it means they want ... they prefer, the clients prefer more existing solution rather than innovation one. But this is only in mechanical manufacturer's side. This is from client's side. And also for supplier's side, we also try to use some new but ... some new but existing solution rather than brand new idea because this is a low risk and easy to handle. [5742]
Yeah. Actually, this is a very important issue for ... especially for technical project, because we needed to figure out client, the needs for our clients. So make sure what we are doing is fit for this, and only focus on this rather than anything else. [5743]
Make each other understand each other very clearly. Then, we make it officially then issue it to all our people in this project. [5776]
Yeah. Sometimes, it's ... of course, because it's document, we need ... Normally, we need a kickoff meeting to discussion this brief or this description before. And after discussion, we make it officially. Make each other understand each other very clearly. Then, we make it officially then issue it to all our people in this project. [5744]
Yeah. This is one thing we often to negotiate it with clients, because we want to ask for more time, more budget. We can't always try to avoid something [inaudible 00:25:31] [5777]
It's very important. I have to say it's very important. Sometimes, 'cause ... how to say? I would like to talk this engineering point of view, because engineers is the people who are handling this daily life, the real world, so they face the same ... they have the same target. The target is to finish the job, perfect it in time. So in this kind of situation, clients, engineer and client, engineer and supplier, or engineering suppliers [inaudible 00:29:50] it's just like a big team. Of course, they ... every people want to cover some [inaudible 00:29:54] but they work together. So this is the one thing, one biggest things. [5745]
And the personal relationship helps a lot. For example, if this project just start and you are very new, you don't know how to get help from clients or from other ... sort some other kind of things. So if you have the personal relationship with clients or with other peoples, so a lot of the resource will come to you very easily. Sometimes just one word, or just some ... one piece of paper, one link, will help you a lot in the beginning. [5746],[5778]
And the personal relationship helps a lot. For example, if this project just start and you are very new, you don't know how to get help from clients or from other ... sort some other kind of things. So if you have the personal relationship with clients or with other peoples, so a lot of the resource will come to you very easily. Sometimes just one word, or just some ... one piece of paper, one link, will help you a lot in the beginning. PROJECT ID [5779]
And other things, all this relationship is built up in the basis of the trust. In the trust. How to establish this trust in very short time? It's very important. This depends on the personal skill. How to handle communication, how to ... handling the relationship with clients. Also including culture issue. So you need to pay attention to some cultural forbidden area. You need to know what's the things make Japanese happy, what topic German people would like to talk, or what ... don't like to talk. Something like this. [5747]
So you need to pay attention to some cultural forbidden area. You need to know what's the things make Japanese happy, what topic German people would like to talk, or what ... don't like to talk. Something like this. [5748]
So this is culture things. Another thing is try to be open, and also try to help clients in any kind of the aspects. For example if clients felt you, your company [inaudible 00:31:41] it. So you're the project leader, but it's better, especially in Asia, it's better for you to show him around the factory and the shop, including the ... Also, you should arrange the apartment or arrange a hotel personally for him and accompany him to some exciting site, even during the holiday. [5749],[5750]
Something like this, it's helpful to build up the relationship. And the one important thing is never let your customer feel ... face the difficult situation because of your mistake or because of you did not explain to him clearly. So for example, you make some mistake. You want to cover it, you don't want to open it, share it with your client. But finally, things will come. So these kind of things need to be avoid. So try to build up a open trust relationship is very important. [5751],[5780]
For this project, I'm alone in Japan and I ... as a guest engineer inside of the client. So I have no team around me together, and what I can do is I try to make friends in customer's office, including office lady, including the cleaner, of course the section manager and especially the purchasing people. How to do this is, one thing is ... So you need to catch every chance to talk with them to find out what's their background, what things they are passionate to, or what kind of the ... even the ... including some family issues. [5752]
So collect all this information, so it's a bit like spying. Collect all this information, and try to treat them well. For example, invite them to a restaurant, also include the family member and arrange some business trip, but a very relaxed business trip. Invite them from Japan to China, or from Japan to Germany so anyway you can use the company resource to treat clients very well, especially in Asia this is very important. [5754],[5781],[5753]
Yeah. Actually happened. So we invited, including the manager, including the purchasing people, including [inaudible 00:34:44] invited to the company, our company in Germany and our company in China, and we pay almost all the expense for them and by the name of the ... some kind of the business. [5755]
As the project leader, you need to take care of those clients on your team. So team is very important for you, because the team is the people who work for you. Who make the drawing, who finish the testing [crosstalk 00:35:34] and also you ... the important things, you should treat your team as well. So because teammate is a person. So after they have to work their father, brother, sister, or son, daughter, it's a family. So there are a lot of the personal things they want to care, take care. So you needed to. Don't make them so hard. This means you should protect your team. [5756],[5782],[5783]
For example, this is very often in engineering work. So, the design also be modified, modify that again and again. Sometimes, it's because of the request. Sometimes it's because of the not so good work for. So anyway, the design change, design modification happened any single day. So this makes things ... make life very difficult, because it's very interesting for you to test it out one more [inaudible 00:36:29], but it's very boring for you to design it again and again. Maybe five or six times in one week or in one month. [5757]
So as a project leader, you should protect your team. So how to protect them? You need to negotiate with the client. It means as the project leader you did not ... The bad things is you just transfer, exactly transfer what customer request to your team and ask your team to do it. This is not good. You need to negotiate with customer first. You need to sort some things, you need to cut some or [inaudible 00:37:08] in your side. So you said all this is [inaudible 00:37:12]. Information is not complete. Maybe we can wait for some couple of days. So this kind of the things quite help team. [5784],[5758]
Yeah. It's because I have a team [inaudible 00:37:30] in Germany, they did four parts for me so in the ... and the time difference between Germany and Japan is eight or seven hours, I don't know exactly. So this means clients and I worked it in Japan, so reviewed all the design, then I sent it back. So it's in time of the ... maybe seven o'clock, evening. So this is the time Germany just start work, so they start work. They get to the field, again, I make a conference call with them and then after one day when I wake up, the results comes to my computer and I translate it and talk it with supplier again ... with clients again. So this is one cycle, and this cycle is around again everyday. [5759]
Yeah. It's because I have a team [inaudible 00:37:30] in Germany, they did four parts for me so in the ... and the time difference between Germany and Japan is eight or seven hours, I don't know exactly. So this means clients and I worked it in Japan, so reviewed all the design, then I sent it back. So it's in time of the ... maybe seven o'clock, evening. So this is the time Germany just start work, so they start work. They get to the field, again, I make a conference call with them and then after one day when I wake up, the results comes to my computer and I translate it and talk it with supplier again ... with clients again. So this is one cycle, and this cycle is around again everyday. PROJECT ID [5785]
So this is quite hard, because Japanese people, they too work very team work for [inaudible 00:38:32] so any people, even the operator in assembly line can submit the review opinion to what they like. For example, the one senior operator, [inaudible 00:38:47], he said, "Oh, this operation ask for too much force. I can not afford. I have no force to put it by my finger. You need to reduce the force." Like this. So we have to ask ... also we have to improve our deal again and again. I have to say, sometimes the customer does not organize all kind of these request very well. So this means they did not do some organizations and make all these requests come to a combination and give it to supplier together in the same time. It's just one question from this side, another request from other side. And finally come to me. I need to do some this kind of things before I send it direct to my team. So this is ... [5761],[5762],[5760]
Reference Tags
[5763] Cultural differences,[5764] Cultural differences,[5728] Cultural differences,[5729] Group attribution error,[5765] Ultimate attribution error,[5767] Alignment,[5730] Cultural differences,[5766] Cultural differences,[5731] Unbalanced workload pressure,[5769] Alignment,[5732] Cultural differences,[5768] Cultural differences,[5733] Cultural differences,[5770] Cultural differences,[5734] Cultural differences,[5771] Cultural differences,[5772] Unresolved relationship conflict,[5773] Cultural differences,[5774] Win-win conflict about relationships,[5736] Compromising conflict about ideas,[5735] Cultural differences,[5737] Cultural differences,[5739] Decisive leadership,[5738] Quick resolution of relationship conflict,[5740] Decisive leadership,[5741] Decisive leadership,[5775] Finding Existing Ideas,[5742] Risk compensation,[5743] Communicating ideas across domains,[5776] Communicating ideas across domains,[5744] Communicating ideas across domains,[5777] Planning fallacy,[5745] Communicating ideas across domains,[5746] Communicating ideas across domains,[5778] Trust,[5779] Organizing effectively,[5747] Trust,[5748] Cultural differences,[5749] Cultural differences,[5750] Trust,[5751] Trust,[5780] Trust,[5752] Trust,[5754] Communicating ideas across domains,[5781] Empathetic disposition,[5753] Trust,[5755] Trust,[5756] Balanced workload pressure,[5782] Organizational encouragement,[5783] Organizing effectively,[5757] Lack of challenging work,[5784] Communicating ideas across domains,[5758] Decisive leadership,[5759] Communication issues,[5785] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[5761] Communication issues,[5762] Compromising conflict about ideas,[5760] Insufficient Feedback

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MADISON BARNETT
I get my inspiration from the fictional world. I’m a social geek. Completely exploit 24/365 catalysts for change whereas high standards in action items. Conveniently whiteboard multifunctional benefits without enabled leadership.
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