I work for a web development company in China. We mainly work with English speaking clients, but our developers are Chinese with limited English communication skills. We have been looking for a program manager with both good English and Chinese language skills as well as IT project management experience. It has been extremely challenging finding someone suitable. Recently we interviewed a Chinese person with strong IT PM background (including PMP certified). Unfortunately her spoken English skills while good enough to communicate within the office environment is not good enough to communicate effectively with our European based clients.
In a recent company meeting the issue was raised about whether it would be possible to split the position. In other words have one person to deal directly with the client side of things (call it a client liaison role for want of a better term) and then the PM managing the internal parts of the project (the parts of the project which doesn't require direct communication with the client).
Upon hearing this I became somewhat concerned about the feasibility of such an idea. I was curious to know whether others have had any experience with this kind of thing? Would this be doomed to fail or could it work in the right environment?
Surely in this situation at least one of those people will still have to speak both languages anyway.
My thoughts precisely.
Obviously, adding one more person increases the chances of misinterpretation and misleading. Yet, if you really have no other choice, well, you have no other choice.
Still, I would assume that in a Country as big as China someone should be able to meet all the requirements
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