Presentation given to Projekt Management Austria conference, PMA Focus, on 18th October 2012.
Social media offers us new ways of communicating and new ways of connecting with people. An important part of project management is effective communication, so at first glance social media should be able to help us deliver our projects. But is this really the case? Do the methods of social media, and the ethos behind it, really assist us in bringing in projects on time, on budget, at the required quality? Can tweets really help deliver a project?
At first glance, the worlds of project management and social media would appear to be very far apart. The ethos of each can seem to be in direct opposition to the other, leading to strong questions as to how they can ever hope to be used together.
For example, project management is traditionally formal and defined - it deals with the assignment of work, monitoring and control of that work, and rigid reporting routes. Social media, by contrast, is designed to allow conversations, information sharing, and collaboration with self-selecting groups.
The truth is, while project management can have its formal structures, it is also at its heart about effective communication. In the past we have used strict methods of delivering this communication to ensure it is timely, accurate, and effective - but couldn't the tools of social media, which is all about communication - allow us to improve on this?
This talk will look at the new possibilities provided by social media, and try to understand how, and if, they can be brought together with project management to provide effective tools. We will look at the different technologies that exist under the social media banner, such as blogs, Twitter, and business networking like LinkedIn, and try to define if they are really offering improvements to the way we currently work, or if they instead present revolutionary changes that require a wholesale re-evaluation of how we manage our projects.
By the end of this talk, I hope to enable you to make sensible judgements about which social media tools you can start using right now to improve your project management, and to answer the important question: is social media really delivering what project management needs?