Project Managers Like This
FACEBOOK, TWITTER, BLOGS, WIKIS
and other social media tools haven’t quite
reached the exalted status of Gantt charts and
work breakdown structures in the project management profession.
But they’re gaining ground.
More than 75 percent of project managers
said social media improves the way they manage
projects, according to the 2011 Social Media in a
Project Environment survey by London, England-based Elizabeth Harrin, author of Social Media
for Project Managers [PMI, 2010]. No on-the-sidelines observer, Ms. Harrin is also author of
the blog A Girl’s Guide to Project Management,
a founding member of the PMI New Media
Council and head of IT program delivery at Spire
The survey, which included 181 respondents from more than 30 countries, found that
LinkedIn ranked as the most popular tool for
business use among project professionals. That
was followed by instant messaging, blogs, Twitter and wikis.
“Wikis have a very low barrier to entry in that
they are very easy to set up. Wikis are also easy
to use, and they are excellent for capturing les-
sons learned and project information,” says Ms.
Harrin. “At the end of the project, a wiki can
be passed on to the operational team as a great
source of organizational knowledge.”
Podcasts and video podcasts (vodcasts) were
among the least-used tools, according to the sur-
vey. But Ms. Harrin sees a missed opportunity for
project management office professionals looking
for training and education tools.
Nearly half of all respondents employed social
media tools for document sharing, while 27 per-
cent used them for project status updates, and a
quarter said they actively used them for managing
their teams. By far, though, the most popular use
of social media was to stay in touch with friends
and colleagues, cited by 85 percent of the respon-
dents. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they
used social media to communicate with team
members, and 24 percent said they used it to
reach stakeholders. That conversation, however,
should be one with give-and-take.
Simply declaring that social media has hit critical
mass doesn’t begin to capture its true reach.
More than 500 million people actively use
Facebook, logging more than 700 billion minutes
per month on the website. Twitter sees an average
of 140 million messages sent out per day, adding
up to 1 billion tweets per week. More than 100
million people use LinkedIn to network with colleagues past and present. And more than 80,000
companies—up from 10,000 just a year ago—use
the corporate social network Chatter.
With that kind of adoption, it’s hard for any
organization to resist social media’s pull. Yet
extolling the wonders of social media and actually implementing these tools to benefit a project
team are two entirely different things.
Many organizations jump into the fray with
no clear strategy, which can be detrimental in
How Project Managers Use Social Media
stay in touch with friends and colleagues
SOURCE: Social Media in a Project Environment
project status updates managing teams
communicate with team members