The social revolution in project management
Are you old enough to remember how people used to “socialise” in the 80’s? And by socialise I mean keep in touch.
Due to the fact I was between 10-20 I recall it like so:
- My mates would “call” for me at my house at a time pre-arranged - maybe some days ago but this was remembered using your brain
- Girls would telephone my house and my Mum would field my calls (sometimes at my request)
- I used to write actual letters on paper
- I’d bump into friends in town
During the same decade how did project teams socialize (or collaborate) I wonder?
- Project Mangers would bring reams and reams of printed out “plans” to meetings set in smoke filled Board rooms
- Internal memos would circulate updating on project progress
- People were assigned tasks, risks and issues they would have to remember (in their head) often being phoned with the news they were responsible for the risk days after it had turned to an issue, much to their surprise
- Requirements were captured on paper and buried in actual folders stored deep in various desks/cupboards/people’s pockets
If you look at the above four bullets do you manage projects any differently, if you imagine an internal memo as an email and “actual folders” as an electronic file share?
If so shame on you ! In the same way you collaborate with friends in the age of social networking why wouldn’t you do the same on managing huge change projects with big buck budgets? Socializing (or collaboration) are the buzz words of the modern era both personally and professionally – high quality online platforms are readily available for low cost that facilitate sharing, working together, collaborating, knowledge management, transparent accountability, auditable traceability everything you need to bring teams together to increase your chances of successful delivery. The modern world revolves around on-demand insights delivered to hand held devices 24/7. The Project Manager and never sleeps, the project teams update tasks sat on trains into work or on the way home over in-transit wifi. The working day longer than ever, the only thing that has really changed is that girls no longer ring my house.
So in short, don’t get caught out by a risk that had no owner because your mum (or PA) fielded a phone call and you missed it – don’t get to a go-live and realize you’ve missed key requirements because they were buried deep in some archaic file system, give yourself a hugely increased chance of success and get switched on to collaboration.
Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Jonathan Atkinson