Social project management: How social networks encourage real-time communication

Monday, June 10th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

The human element of project management—maximizing the results of groups brought together to achieve a project's goals—should not be overlooked as a project is planned and executed.

Graham Morris, writing for the Here Is The City blog, recommends that project managers use social media platforms to facilitate communication between team members, because these tools tap into the inherent human desire for connection.

"The social project manager can no longer operate as a hierarchical commander," Morris wrote. "Instead they need to facilitate their team to arrive at their own conclusions. They have to manage interactions and collaboration and use their role as a connector to create a more efficient combination of skills and passion."

Once a project manager embraces this concept, he or she must maximize the power of social media tools, which means building on the following two pillars:

  • Strong project planning: If a project plan is muddled, vague or inaccurate, the strength of the communication between your team members won't matter because the project poorly defined and doomed to fail. Communication facilitated by social networks reinforces strong project planning—it doesn't replace it.
  • Creative team formation: The most valuable resource businesses, and especially project managers, have at their disposal is human capital. A dynamic team of people whose skills complement each other and who work toward the same shared vision will surpass your expectations at every turn.

When these two elements are in place, social networks will enhance your team's communication and generate that elusive esprit de corps that every manager seeks, resulting in better operational outcomes.

By building on a manager's real-world experience, project management training can accelerate the mastery of these leadership skills.

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