Technology (mostly IT) have this magical capacity of transforming boring words into fairy-dusted buzzes that have the ability to change the way we work and in a great extend our exciting lives. Take for example last decade’s buzz of “semantic web”. You have “semantic” which is even for academic standards a boring word and you put some magic “web” and there you are! Millions of dollars spent in system interoperability (needless to mention the myriad of conferences analyzing what is semantic web over and over again).
Social media is no exception. Social is generally a good thing, unless you were a total nerd in high-school and this word still haunts you…But do not be troubled. You have technology that converts Social to “social media”. If you don’t see the difference, then you’ve never been a nerd and I suggest you stop reading Now! For a nerd social, is synonym to misery and depression. But social media is liberating. Now, a nerd can go out chatting, twitting, wall-streaming and do all short of previously considered extreme sports. Look how magical this fairy-dust is. It glues two words so powerfully that not only the by-product can liberate peoples’ life, but makes you believe that social cannot exist without media and vice versa. Two more words that perfectly glue together are CRM Project Management, but this is not our subject in this post!
You have no power whatsoever to stop this little techno-freak Tingerbell from producing buzz words. What you actually can, and please do, is to pay a visit to her magical workshop, to see her recent buzz: “social project management”. Ok you know “social media” (there is no just social any more remember?) and you have “cloud project management tools”. Is that something new? Actually, not. To run a project you need to collaborate with others to meet deadlines, fulfill requirements and deliver the outcomes. Social media integration provide this new exciting way of agile collaboration via teamwork online.
Instead of communicating through mails you have virtual meetings, can assign tasks to virtual groups/teams, have wikis for your training courses, play with e-files etc. Hence, social media are there for you to minimize time and to maximize information efficiency. But smart managers not only employ social media tools to speed up their teams activities. They allow social media to transform the way they run projects! If you follow the “Social media philosophy” you will see that it’s quite easy to manage any project regardless of size or complexity. You’ll see that you have to follow two simple social media rules: Delegate and Monitor.
Just create three conceptual roles and assign those to each Team responsible in your WBS:
- Work Package Manager
- Team Leader
- Team Member
Allow WP managers to delegate work to each team leader, team leaders to create orders to their members and endow team members with social media tools for fast collaboration. Going backwards, inspect deliveries on your activity stream, make the necessary adjustments through video conferencing, and finally monitor all through your fully interactive Gantt chart.
That’s why you should pay a visit to the social fairy’s workshop!
Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments