Social Project Management (#SWCONF)

Presentation by Liz Pearce, COO, LiquidPlanner at Social Workplace Conference 2012

The evolution of project management

The underlying principle of project management is team members committing to delivering something to a particular standard over a given time.  Project Management has been around for a long time…

First: The Gantt Chart
Then: Command & Control
Now: Support & Guide

…so – what’s changing?

From Old School vs New School

Collaboration
Old: meetings
New: online environments.  Colleagues can literally “shout through walls”, they don’t all need to be in one room at the same time.

Control
Old:  tightly held
New: distributed ownership and real-time sharing.  Everyone can find the plan, access it and use it to do their own work better.

Benefits
Old: accrue to management
New: everybody benefits.  Managers can benefit from finding out more about how their team members are doing.  Team members know more about what their managers expect of them.

Scheduling
Old:  wishful thinking
New: realistic and real-time.  With distributed ownership updates happen daily all employees are engaged in the process and project.

Overall
Old: high costs, sandbagging, low morale, poor quality, missed opportunities, customer dissatisfaction.
New: lower costs, fewer meetings, higher morale, improved quality, less wasted capacity, customer satisfaction.

5 Practical Tips for create social project management 

1. Move from centralised to distributed updates
Your top managers have more time to work on high-level tasks when the rest of the team is looking after their own updates.

2. Cut the middle man from work distribution
An open process of distributing work across all those responsible creates greater clarity to the overall business objectives.

3. Keep the plan and the social collaboration in the same place
By moving from an organisation where the CRM, emails and planning is in disparate locations to one helps employees to use their time more effectively rather than move between different locations to complete the same task.

4. Focus on PM habits, not result
Project teams all have certain habits.  For instance, team members may be vague with the information they need to provide to project managers when questioned.  By being more transparent and realistic with information by getting employees provide this (and keep it updated) through a social management platform, goals and timeframes can be more realistic.

5. Never waste a good crisis!
When things change unexpectedly it can be a great time for changing you organisation’s processes – whether the crisis is positive or negative!

Watch Liz Pearce interviewed where she explained this in more details.

Find out more about LiquidPlanner here.