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  1. 1. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India How our Projects can benefit from using Social Media Leigh Moyle Past President, PMI Sydney Chapter2|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  2. 2. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India Contents 1 Abstract: ............................................................................................................................4 2 Technical Paper:.................................................................................................................4 3 Introduction .......................................................................................................................4 4 Social Media Background..................................................................................................5 5 Social media use and benefits: Communication.................................................................6 6 Social media use and benefits: Scope.................................................................................8 7 Social media use and benefits: Resources..........................................................................9 8 Social media use and benefits: Procurement....................................................................11 9 Conclusion: The Global Playing Field.............................................................................12 10 References......................................................................................................................13 11 Author Profile.................................................................................................................133|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  3. 3. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India 1 Abstract: The project management world has historically been one of systems, process and constraints, yet it is now recognized that the most important indicators of a project’s success are human – communication, communication & communication! Yet communication is changing. We blog, we wiki, IM, SMS, tweet, yam, podcast, vodcast, LinkIn and we facebook. Ten years ago these verbs did not exist. The communication revolution that has already taken place in private lives is beginning to bleed into our working lives. New ways of working are emerging – new tools, a new generation of project managers, offshoring, virtual teams and mobile project management. These new ways of working require new communication styles. Through audience engagement and a live case study developed in the lead-up to the PMI India conference, Leigh Moyle will demonstrate the new social media toolkit and how these tools can be deployed to enhance how we deliver our projects. She will discuss the communication challenges of project managers and the impact of social media on team management and communication. In conclusion, she will address the Indian context and how Indian project managers can leapfrog current technologies and mindsets to be at the forefront of international Project Management capabilities. Leigh Moyle is a regular visitor to India and a regular attendee of the PMI India Conferences since their inception. She presented at the Hyderabad Conference on Project Management in the Media industry, focusing on her research and experience in film production. Leigh is Past President of the PMI Sydney Chapter. 2 Technical Paper: 3 Introduction Modern Project Management exists in a world where business expects more, faster. To keep pace, project and program practitioners can no longer rely on systems, processes and constraints to deliver projects. Project Management needs a new paradigm. One which we can borrow from the social media and mass collaboration revolutions taking place in our personal lives.4|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  4. 4. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India In the lead up to the PMI India 2011 Conference and in order to bring to my audience real life case studies, I have been working on a Social Networking Project. My experiences in putting this together will form the basis for illustrating the power of using Social Media, Collaboration and what is known as Web 2.0 in Project Management. To demonstrate the potential of ‘social’ media and mass collaboration to Project Management, I will review their impact in the areas of Project Management namely Scope, Resources, Communication and Procurement with a touch of Risk illustrating these with key pieces of my recent experiments in social media. 4 Social Media Background As Elizabeth Harrin, author of Social Media for Project Managers details, “Social media and social networking may sound like new terms but people have been using the internet to communicate with each other since the 1980s” “As the technology for building websites became easier to use, the internet evolved from a place where techie experts shared bits of code with each other to a domain where anyone could publish anything.” [1] Elizabeth Harrin’s book gives a sound background to each of the social media tools, what they are, how you can use it and the pros and cons of using each one. By way of background for this technical paper, the following table details various social media tools and how they can by used for project tasks.5|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  5. 5. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India Podcast Vodcast Networks Blog Wiki Webinar Collaboration Messaging Micro Blogging Social Instant Toos Career Building  Collaboration/Team     Working Knowledge   Management Meetings   Project Log   Status Updates   Training    Table derived from Social Media for Project Managers, Elizabeth Harrin [2 ] 5 Social media use and benefits: Communication Social Media is all about communicating The impact of social media and mass collaboration on the way we communicate within projects is self evident. When you look through the table above and recall past physical ways of undertaking career building, team working, knowledge management, meetings, project logs, status updates and training and the way in which how we do these now you can project on how our project communications will change and improve by embracing social media. The necessity to physically get together to hold meetings can be minimised by the constant communication flows that are possible using toolsets such as the Project Wiki or the Project Blog. Information and ideas can be added to blogs6|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  6. 6. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India and wikis continually and team members kept up to date with project news in real time. True collaboration means that even those team members outside of the organisation or outside of the country can be part of the project communications on a continual basis. In an age where we, and all of our bosses, are able to access real-time stock prices and local news and weather from countries we have never visited, it is now not adequate for us, as Project Managers, to advise our stakeholders that they will receive weekly reporting on the Wednesday following the weekend or the Monthly report during the 2nd week of the new month. Expectations have changed. It is now possible for stakeholders to have real-time access to project information either through Project blogs or Wikis. As Elizabeth Harrin details; “A blog can bring a sponsor closer to the project team. A quick blog post from the sponsor will help the team members feel that someone higher up does care about what they are doing but without the intrusion of an email.” [3] Elizabeth Harrin details four major communications challenges for Project Managers as follows; [4] 1. Communicating up and out to stakeholders and sponsors 2. Managing miscommunication 3. Communicating for team building 4. Managing the team’s communication preferences Stakeholders traditionally are time poor and responsible for many projects other than your own. As a project manager to be heard you must make your message stand out and you must engage the stakeholder. To succeed you need to make your message short and deliver it in the way the stakeholder can manage it. This is a particular challenge given that there are often many stakeholders with many different preferences. With social media, however you have an arsenal of tools to use – the project stakeholder blog or micro-blog (up to 140 characters). These allow for frequent directed updates to phone or email. These small updates can be supplemented by project reporting blogs on a weekly or monthly basis. Stakeholders and sponsors can also request RSS feeds from the project blog and Google alerts which enable them to control when they will receive their messages.7|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  7. 7. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India One of the greatest challenges within the project and particularly with the sponsors, is two way communication. Blogs and micro-blogs, unlike traditional status update methods, encourage the sponsor to participate and ‘talk back’. Miscommunication is a negative feature of using email – emails are often sent to one or two people leaving out other sets of interested parties. They are forwarded to people that shouldn’t have the information and they are often misinterpreted in different contexts. Use of blogs and discussions still have potential issues with misinterpretation, with the iterative nature of the blog, misinterpretations can quickly be resolved and there is a transparency to the postings that is visible to all blog participants. Blogs, like emails, can be used as an audit trail of project communication and in fact project progress. Blogs, discussions, Wikis and project Facebooks all encourage collaboration and open communication both within the project ‘work’ space and the project ‘fun’ space. They can be used for team building an important aspect of the project such as posting team photos, news updates and celebrating team achievements. These tools can be built in a configuration that suits the team and can be accessed of a single landing page on the web or through the corporate intranet. Most importantly, with the selection of tools available and no doubt more on their way, it is possible to build a communication framework which allows team members to receive and respond to communications exactly the way that they prefer whether this be by phone, email, instant message, with graphics, with charts, with podcasts/vodcasts, with case-studies or references. Project members can also choose the channels they use to communicate back to the team. Preferences change depending on current circumstances and social media allows for easy switching between channels. For example I know that when I am travelling, I no longer use the phone and rely much more heavily on instant messaging to continue my work. 6 Social media use and benefits: Scope One of the most contentious times for a project is setting the scope. Has the scope been dictated? Have the right people been involved? Can the scope be changed? Has the scope been clearly understood? Is it actually possible to deliver according to the scope? Recently, I was involved a mini project as part of the development of my social network site. Whilst this example only relates to a small project, I believe it illustrates the benefits of collaborating online when it comes to defining scope. Many online companies now use their customer groups, through discussion8|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  8. 8. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India boards and blogs to actually define scope for new projects. The concept of these “Prosumers” , consumers who assist in the production of products, customers as innovators is discussed in the book Wilkinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changer Everything by Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams[5] Crowd-sourcing is an excellent demonstration both of the benefits of online collaboration in scope setting as well as illustration of how the scope can be kept more fluid and the process more ‘agile’. As the consumer, I had identified the need for a logo for use in the Indian Project Management market. I researched colours, patterns, fonts and put together a design brief for what I envisaged. Using an online company called 99 designs, I posted my design brief, set the payment level I was prepared to pay for a successful design and waited for responses from the designers who work in this way. I knew that I would never sit down in a meeting to discuss ‘the scope’ and since I wanted designers to add their ‘design flair’, the scope was not set at the beginning but developed over the design timeline. What followed was a constant interchange with submitting designers via instant messaging. The result? Within one week, without ever having met the designer, I had 42 designs in total and at least 10 close designs to choose from. Designs that were so close that I was merely deciding based on whether I liked that flower in the paisley over another flower. The process was very ‘agile’. We didn’t need to tie the scope down in order to get the project kicked off. As the customer, this gave me the ability to allow the ‘right people’ the experts, the designers, their input. What was key to facilitate this was constant and open communication. New designs constantly being uploaded, I was notified by email, I provided feedback, my friends/colleagues could have provided feedback, the designer ‘listened’ to the feedback and adapting the designs accordingly. Following is the evolution of the logo to illustrate the effectiveness of the process 7 Social media use and benefits: Resources One of major areas of change in Project Management is that of resources. The structure of the ‘organisation’ is changing if not dissolving. The focus is moving towards teams not hierarchies, teams separated by distance and time-zones, teams of many cultures, teams that are not part of your organisation, cross functional teams.9|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  9. 9. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India The project manager must now manage the ‘distance between people’ – cultural, outsource, physical, cultural, functional and generational. Social Media toolsets have the capability to bring social and communication ‘glue’ to projects. With the use of wikis, blogs, discussion groups, instant messaging even Facebook, it is so much easier for teams to build their own communities online. Each team member, wherever they are located, whatever their role, whatever their time-zone or whether they are an outsource resource or part of the full time team, can be included, have their say and collaborate to bring their best expertise to the project. In preparation for this conference, I have been testing the concept of pulling together a disparate team of people into an online community, namely the team of PMI India 2011 conference attendees. Over the next three months in the lead up to the conference, I will be using all the toolsets of wikis, blogs, discussion groups and Facebook in building this community. This part of the case study is still underway and I will detail the more interesting outcomes as part of my conference presentation. With newer ways of working there is greater division of labour. It is now possible to break a project down into ‘specific requirements’ to leverage key skills. For example in the case of the development of the logo for my social networking project. Each component part of a project can now be broken down and outsourced to experts. Whereas previously it would have been more economical for an organisation to have an in house design team and in house everything teams, mass collaboration and outsourcing have made it more effective to send all manner of work out of the organisation to experts and to cheaper resources elsewhere. The result of this being that the Project Manager must now manage resources who don’t work in the next cubicles. My latest project, PM Gurus will be built by many people I will likely never meet. The logo was designed by Iztok from somewhere in Eastern Europe. The web interface may be designed by another designer from another part of the world. My research and personal assistance work is done by a young woman in Bangalore. We jointly develop a program of works for the month and we then communicate every day by Skype messages and occasional phone calls. If I am clear about what I require her to do for me and she is clear in confirming my written requests, then I am able to utilise her specific skills without the need for me to hire an office, buy a chair or computer for her, train her or pay payroll tax for her!10|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  10. 10. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India If the inputs, the scope, is clear, the outputs happen. It is of no consequence to me whether she is working from home or out of hours. In fact if as a Project Manager you want to attract young talent to your team, it is beneficial that you have Social Media integrated into your systems. The new ‘Net Generation’ have a distinct preference for working in companies that embrace social media and work flexibility. Many companies rather than embracing social media have banned it as they view it only as a personal tool and cannot see the value of the toolset in the work context. One final aspect of resourcing that is impacted by social media is training. Training can now successfully be taken out of the classroom. All manner of online resources in Project Management exist currently on the internet, however these are for the most part, fractured and of varying standards and in many instances cost prohibitive. Mass collaboration has so far brought us Wikipedia based in the Wiki principals. What perhaps is needed now for Project Management is a collaboratively built project management training system. I envisage that it would be based on peer training, learning from your colleagues using the collaborative toolsets we have already discussed. The ability to offer training online is particularly beneficial in the geographically dispersed Indian context and the ability to offer ‘social learning’ through online buddy systems, online mentoring and online learning and teaching communities, all powered by wikis, blogs, discussion group and online testing, is a very powerful one for the development of Project Management in India. 8 Social media use and benefits: Procurement Mass Collaboration and Social Media has resulted in a rise of new marketplaces such as eBay. With these new marketplaces, the procurement model for projects has also shifted. These marketplaces are not just limited to consumer goods. Commercial goods and services can now be sourced, bidded for and tendered online. It is now possible to more accurately research suppliers and pricing. In fact it is also possible to arrange international auctions for any project procurement requirements. An international R&D marketplace called Innocentive enables companies or individuals to buy and sell their intellectual property. If you need a piece of equipment, you can use price comparison engines to locate the cheapest pricing for you.11|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  11. 11. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India To procure human resources a project member can now advertise directly through local and international job sites or alternatively outsource the immediate requirement. Recently when I required design work to develop a logo, I tested a relatively new form of outsourcing – called crowd-sourcing. In fact it was a design competition. I wrote a brief and posted it on the design site 99 designs. I posted the price that I was prepared to pay for the logo development. The more you pay, the more designers you attract and the more designs you get to choose from. The risk of dealing with designers that I did not know was eliminated in that the competition did not become ‘in the money’ until I was satisfied that I had designs that I would be happy with. Once the prize is guaranteed there is even more fervour from designers to be the winning design. In my experience, the outcome was that I had access to many designers for a price that was less than I would pay in my own city with no risk given that I did not have to accept any designs. 9 Conclusion: The Global Playing Field As Tapscott and Williams detail in ‘Wikinomics’, “The future, therefore lies in collaboration across borders, cultures, companies and disciplines….firms that fail to diversify their activities geographically and develop robust global innovation webs will find themselves unable to compete in a global world. Effectively, its globalize or die.” [6] How are project managers to meet this challenge? Certainly not by hiring local staff, utilizing only internal company resources, holding physical project meetings, rigidly defining scope from within the company, keeping stakeholders enthused by weekly and monthly status reports and forbidding the use of social media in the workplace. Social media rather than being a time-wasting distraction at work, is the very key to encourage collaboration within organizations, between organizations, within industries, between consumers and producers and more importantly globally. India is perfectly positioned to leapfrog current outdated organizational structures, processes, technologies and mindsets and move straight to the forefront of developing ‘robust global innovation webs’ [7], Likewise, it will be possible, using social media and mass collaboration, for India to move from being the ‘back office of the world’ to being the ‘project management office (PMO) of the world.12|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management
  12. 12. Project Management National Conference 2011 PMI India 10 References [1] [2] [3] [4] Elizabeth Harrin, Social Media for Project Managers, Project Management Institute, Pennsylvania 2010 [5] [6] [7] Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams, Wikinomics How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Atlantic Books, Great Britain, 2007 11 Author Profile Leigh Moyle is an AGSM MBA graduate and PMP and is Past President of the Project Management Institute(PMI), Sydney Chapter. Over the past 15+ years Leigh has project and program managed significant projects and established PMO systems for organisations such as Telstra, NRMA, Department of Education, Macquarie Bank & Brambles in areas such as IT infrastructure, business process, supply chain and internet projects. She can be contacted through LinkedIn. Leigh regularly travels overseas to speak and train in Project/Program Management and related areas.|P a g e Application of Select Tools of Psychology for Effective Project Management