When I think of ‘Social Media PM’, I naturally first think about collaboration. It’s all about sharing information, making information open and available, and providing people with the opportunity to participate in sharing ideas and providing feedback. Collaboration is actually quite compatible with agile, which advocates for teams being ‘self-managing’. The only way teams can achieve that is through leveraging systems that support a high level of collaboration. Modern project management, no matter where on the scales from agile to waterfall, needs to leverage a high level of collaboration.
This is the first of a series of four articles on the subject of Social Media Project Management (PM), where we explore the variety of aspects of social media and their impact and utility on project management. This article, Part 1 in the series, “It’s All About Collaboration", looks at the core component of social media – collaboration – and how collaboration, enhanced by social media, is enabling new possibilities for PM. Part 2, “Managing Social Media Is the Key," looks at both the upside and downside of social media, and how project managers need to manage it for optimum benefit. Part 3, “Effective Social Media Tools," considers the variety of social media tools and assesses which can be most useful on projects. Finally, Part 4, “Leverage Knowledge from Social Media", dives into the abundance of knowledge that we can gain by the exposure to knowledge and insights that social media generates.
Defining Social Media
Wikipedia, which itself is a form of social media, defines social media as:
“Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.”
Indeed, virtual communities and networks are all about collaboration! When individuals are able to create and share information, ideas, and other forms of expression, community evolves, and community is collaboration.
Implications of social media for project management
What does this definition of social media mean for PM? It means that project management as practiced can and will become more and more collaborative. It will be less top-down, and more bottom-up. It will evolve across the board into a practice with agile values and foundational beliefs, which tend to be more collaborative. For more info on agile values and beliefs, see https://agilemanifesto.org/ .
The most visible manifestation of this expansion of collaboration within the practice of project management is project management tools themselves. Take a look at project management software – or think about some of the software you have used.
A while back, innovations in PM software were largely limited to computerizing project plans, and enabling such insights as the critical path. That was great innovation at the time, but today, as projects or more agile, collaboration is the order of the day. Older PM software has extensions that support increased collaboration. And there are lots of new players in the PM software game, and their hallmark is collaboration. Most of this innovation is powered by some combination of social media tools.
What social media tools are being used to enhance collaboration on your projects?
This Post is Part of the Series: Social Media PM
This series of four articles on Social Media Project Management (PM), explains how we explore the variety of aspects of social media and their impact and utility on project management.
- It’s All About Collaboration
- Managing It is the Key
- Effective Social Media Tools
- Leverage Knowledge From Social Media