Project management in Romania means to impress by demonstrating sound pragmatism. Should problems arise, a feasible solution is immediately sought. If circumstances require it, such a solution can often be extremely creative or even unconventional. In critical situations, Romanians often have the ability to turn things around, even if they have little to work with. Their talent for improvisation makes this possible.
As a result, it is hardly surprising that Romanians don’t think much of planning ahead for months and years. It is assumed that things can quickly change anyway. Long-term thinking and planning are thus deemed as almost counterproductive, but at any rate as rigid and inflexible. When working together with Romanians, you should, therefore, be prepared for changes at short notice and try to handle them in a flexible manner.
Romanian bosses tend to have an authoritarian management style but also lead with charisma and eloquence. Romanian employees are, therefore, used to personal management with well-meant supervision and clear instructions. Personal initiative and responsibility, as well as the freedom to make decisions and act on your own at work, are, thus, somewhat foreign to many Romanians.
Romania is a polychronic culture, which means that your Romanian project partners or colleagues tend to do a lot of things simultaneously. That way, they maintain a certain flexibility and can quickly respond to changing circumstances. There is, however, a certain danger of making mistakes. You should, thus, depending on quality standards, precisely define your expectations and make good use of the Romanian way of multitasking in a profitable way.
If, for example, you would like to introduce a fixed procedure to a Romanian subsidiary, you should be able to convincingly explain your plans. Illustrate, first of all, what exactly you hope to achieve with this measure. Campaign for your plan! With a rough commanding tone, you will, however, quickly lose the support of the Romanian team.
But be aware: You should under no circumstances discourage your Romanian colleagues’ imagination and the talent to improvise by implementing rules that are too strict. Most of the time, the work result will be negatively affected by this. In Romania, it can often be enough to exactly say what should be achieved and by when, but leave the ›How‹ to the team. You will be surprised at how many ways a goal can be achieved!
Flow Of Information
In Romanian companies, information flows in a variety of ways. Apart from the regular ways to communicate along with hierarchical levels, you should always bear informal channels in mind, for example, a chat at the coffee vending machine. During a relaxed small talk with your Romanian co-workers or colleagues, you will often find out more than you might expect.
Because Romanians are multitasking talents and have a strong focus on the individual, priorities can quickly change. Romanian co-workers often tend to do something for the individual and not the business matter itself. Those who communicate in the most insistent manner how important their request is are most likely to be heard.
Deadlines are generally still met at the last minute due to the Romanian talent for multitasking and improvisation. You will often witness that the commitment of Romanians fluctuates heavily during a project. Projects are usually started without much planning and with a certain overeagerness, followed by sluggishness, which is then made up for by mobilising all available resources just before the project’s deadline. Deadlines are thus only just met or met with a few days delay.
If you would like your Romanian project colleagues to guarantee that a deadline is adhered to, you should enquire, preferably early on and regularly, in a friendly and diplomatic manner. Offer your support, even if only meant rhetorically. It is recommended that you set many interim goals rather than one overall goal.
As already mentioned, Romanians tend to talk a lot at the beginning. If you believe that a Romanian deadline is too optimistic, you can also question the feasibility and enquire regularly. Most of the time, your Romanian project partners will quickly agree to a more realistic deadline, which is advantageous for both sides.
Don’t try to monitor your Romanian project partners too closely by setting several deadlines. The personal relationship is more important than any schedule. Regular and friendly communication is thus the best way to lead a project to success.
If problems arise during the project, you should bear in mind the personal relationship when communicating with your Romanian partners. Don’t look for somebody to blame, but instead appeal to the Romanian talent for improvisation to quickly find a solution for the problem. Amongst project partners, it is understood from a Romanian perspective that you help each other when problems or difficulties arise!
You should, under no circumstances, lose your composure and shout at your contact partner. You will only lose their respect. And some Romanians will play the role of the victim and back out offended. They will stop being committed to work and will only behave in a rather risk-averse manner to avoid future mistakes. The rest of the project will hardly benefit from this.