The successful PM researches and understands cultural differences that may affect communication and the overall project outcome before making initial contact on any project. Here are some things to keep in mind when working with business partners in Belgium.
Corporate Etiquette in Belgium
There are two distinct regions in Belgium, the northern Flemish Region (Flanders) and the southern Walloon Region (Wallonia). The regions share similar business viewpoints on being punctual, using English business cards, and using your initial meeting to socialize and build trust before getting to agenda items. Belgians are common sense people willing to negotiate and compromise, once you have presented a detailed and clear presentation.
Your foreign colleagues in the Flanders region have a management style based on consensus and have no problem delegating responsibilities to other team members. Be aware that your business partners in Wallonia, however, prefer a more formal management structure, paying closer attention to positional hierarchy, titles, rules and procedures.
Top 3 Project Management Applications for Belgium
Belgium does have an established IT infrastructure with broadband capability, but the efficacy of the two regions may affect which collaborative software products work best for your client. Here are our recommendations for working with counterparts in the Belgium market.
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.
Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
Cloud Computing in Belgium
Belgium is not among the top 24 countries on the 2016 BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard. Another report has Belgium just making the top 10 list of EU countries, coming in at #9. The northern Flemish region uses cloud computing far more than their southern counterparts in Wallonia, but that may be due to business size and type.
Belgium is working to improve their broadband capabilities nationally with the Digital Belgium – Plan for Ultrafast Internet in Belgium 2015-2020. They have a well-developed IT infrastructure including internet, mobile and fixed broadband users.
Belgians are punctual and formal when conducting business meetings. They like to establish personal trust before getting to business items. Remember the distinctive, regional approaches to management, and structure your timeline to allow for the differences. Regional cloud computing capabilities may also affect your collaborative software selection, so that is something you will want to discuss upon initial contact. Paying attention to these cultural nuances sets the tone for a successful partnership.