The evolution of the multidimensional digital world has given rise to virtualization of almost every kind of service that can be availed through IT. SaaS and Cloud Computing are virtualization’s biggest contributions for many things right from critical services to our day-to-day activities such as networking via the social media.
Combine this with the growth of mobile technology and you can say that the social media has been instrumental in changing the way people behave and collaborate for anything –for information, for professional networking, for connecting with old pals or even for education (Course Hero on YouTube). The zeitgeist is sure to percolate into the corporate world too. Social media has helped turn electronic communication into interactive discussions between organizations and/or individuals and communities. It has provided immense accessibility to people to network – cultivate new relations as well as nurture the past relationships too. To be able to do this people tend to go that extra mile. Social networking fosters communication, community feeling and an impulse to contribute & be creative. It has changed the personality of people for the better. It generates harmonious relations, discourages negativity and brings out the best in people.
Project management whose core is based on team work, collaboration and regular sharing of information, cannot remain isolated from the social media aspect. This becomes even more important in the wake of growing trend to manage virtual teams and use of significant portion of the Cloud stack for IT.
Therefore, if you club the growing trends and shifting work cultures in corporate world, social media is definitely to be adopted far and wide in the coming years for critical processes such as project management. Project management with social aspect (which has also been referred to as Project Management 2.0 in various write-ups) holds a promise to enhance project management discipline in the following ways:
- It will promote informal learning among the team mates. It has been observed that 75% of corporate learning and training is informal.
- It will help further build the team spirit by fostering a community feeling, which will further facilitate in keeping project goals aligned with the overall business goals.
- It will help thwart the internal team politics as information can be made available readily and transparently 24/7. This underlying need of project management will be easily supported by accessibility provided by various internet-enabled mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs.
- Because of this, team members will have more flexibility with their office hours and the project can progress more smoothly. Moreover, team members can readily exchange information with a click of a button from anywhere and at any time.
- Social media can help resolve issues in a more collaborative way if it is discussed on the common wall.
- A continuous update of project progress will help offline meetings to take-off rather quickly since it will save a lot of time that would have been spent otherwise in providing redundant updates.
- Social zeitgeist can also assist in engendering team motivation in that a genuine recognition of one team member’s contributions can be applauded publicly within the team.
Many proponents for using social media platforms for project management suggest direct use of platforms such as FriendFeed or may be Facebook itself. But there are inherent risks in using these platforms. You may not want the details of project discussions visible to anyone who is not formally associated with the project. The ideal choice would be to integrate social aspect for project team collaboration within the SDLC Management tools that are available in the cloud.