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Twitter for Project Management

by Mohammed on August 1, 2010

I got a lot of queries asking about a term I’m using on my identity and Twitter, which is: Next Generation Project Managers (NGPM).

The above link explains what NGPM is, but I can condense it to one line:

Technology and Social Media Tools + Project Management Experience = NGPM

If you are a junior project manager (PM) with a good background in the social tools, then you need to work on some projects to get the expertise that will qualify you to be a cutting-edge PM. If you are already a PM with good experience, then adding social media and enterprise collaboration tools to your knowledge base will keep you at the top with leading teams and saving projects money and time.

Recently, I searched Amazon.com for a book that talks about social media for project managers; I found one by Elizabeth Harrin which will be published on October 2010. I Googled the author and found that she has a Twitter account, so I tweeted her and got into a conversation that ended with her coming soon on my blog for an interview.

The interesting thing on Elizabeth’s site is a survey; once you fill your name and Email, you will get access to a survey in which the majority of respondents were working in project and program management roles. Part of it is surveying the using of social media and enterprise collaboration tools at work. Here is a snapshot of the survey:

Tool:             Business | Personal | Business and personal | Don’t use | Don’t know

Facebook:     3%                54%                             23%                         20%               0%

Linkedin:       47%             13%                              30%                         9%                 1%

Twitter:          11%               21%                             29%                         39%               0%

Blog:                24%              22%                             22%                         33%               0%

What’s important in this survey is the following:

Financial benefits:

Response Saving on meeting costs            37%

Saving on telephony costs                            30%

Improved collaboration                                56%

Improved communication                           62%

Improved team morale                                 24%

What organization or CEO doesn’t want a 1% savings? What about a 37% savings on meetings costs using free tools? The main reason for business and project failures is people, so what about getting more buy-in from team members using FREE social media tools? Today is the day — either you jump in or your project will be stuck on the sidelines.

Dear Project Managers:  Social media is free, Twitter is free i.e. Social Media = Twitter = Free

Today, I will focus on Twitter as tool to use in the project management process. Here are a few tips that could save you meeting or telephone costs; improve communication and collaboration, and increase team buy-in.

1 – Hashtags

You can create a specific hashtag for the project, especially if it’s long-term. For example, if the project is about design and installing an IT network for Bank XYZ, you can create a tag like #ITBankXYZ Please remember that all your team tweets will be public and can be seen by others! When sharing and managing information, make sure that your tweets don’t disclose anything confidential.

2 – Protected Tweets

You can start a Twitter account for your project and protect all the tweets. Simply, go to your Twitter account, click on Settings, and then check “Protect my tweets” under Tweet privacy. If you and your team members use this setting, people who are not following you will not be able to see your tweets. Also, you have to approve each follower request in order for that person to see your updates. Once you close the project, you can then delete the project Twitter account, just for safety.

While this is an option, the reality is that privacy online is quickly eroding; what may be private now may not be in the future. A better choice would be to share information that’s OK for the public to see.

3 – Meetings

As a project manager, you will have different types of meetings, and some of your team members could be located in regions throughout the world. Having a data show in the meeting room showing a hashtag for the project will be a great way to keep everyone in touch with the meeting and also to see if anyone who is attending the meeting virtually has a question.

4 – Blog posts

If the information you post on Twitter is public, you can save part of your interactions on Twitter and then write a blog post about your project, with your client being your intended reader. Writing a blog post is a great way to get your team and your client buy-in.  It could also be used to showcase your work for future clients. You can always take snapshots of some of the tweets to use them as a reference for the progress for the project.

5 – Questions

I’m connecting with experts in project management, technology, social media and other areas on Twitter. Whenever I have difficult questions, I just include with my question the Twitter handles of the people I want to ask and tweet it. You, as team member or project manager, can find and ask the specialists any question you want about your project. You can also use twtpoll.com to get real answers from your project team members that connect globally via Twitter.

6 – Relationships

It’s important to stay in touch with clients and sponsors. Creating a continuous two-way conversation about service, quality, and equipment through Twitter will keep both side updated about the needs of the project while controlling communication costs.

Social media tools are just a medium tools. Human communications, caring and interactions are the secret, period.

NGPMs will be using the latest technology such Google Wave, Twitter, and other real-time collaborative tools to manage their projects. While using these tools, project managers should still focus on PEOPLE, not technology. It’s not a trade off–I’m just saying that these social media tools can effectively facilitate and simplify our communication. It’s not substitute for offline, face-to-face communication with team members, but a way to enhance communication, particularly when team members or clients are in diverse geographical areas.  They also save projects money and time. Who would say NO to that?

Similar Posts:

{ 2 trackbacks }

Tweets that mention Twitter for Project Management -- Topsy.com
August 1, 2010 at 8:37 AM
Brand Conversation with Elizabeth Harrin
August 17, 2010 at 9:30 AM

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 City Sylvester August 2, 2010 at 7:40 AM

I appreciate the amount of research that went into this article. This is a great post, because it shows how job requirements are evolving to increase heavier work loads; very few are celebrating. This is not just a post for project managers but for anyone with a business or a brand to build.
City Sylvester´s last blog post ..Personal Branding Is

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2 Mohammed Al-Taee August 2, 2010 at 8:28 PM

This is not just a post for project managers but for anyone with a business or a brand to build.
  

City,

I have to agree with you even I believe that each one of us is managing a project by somehow.

The world needs more and more project managers so being familiar with SM is a great way to promote your personal brand.

Thanks for your input my friend.

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3 Elizabeth August 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Twitter is a good tool, but your point about it being a public forum is a good one. There are similar tools available that provide the same capability but behind the firewall, for example, Yammer. This would be better for information that needs to stay private, and will ensure that your information security team don’t panic at the thought that company secrets are being shared! There are very few projects I can think of where the team would want to communicate with each other in a public space. However, Twitter could be a good medium for communicating with external stakeholders at various points throughout a project.
Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Welcome to the Summer of Books 2010!

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4 easy hits 4 u
Twitter: 1
May 2, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Its such as you read my mind! You appear to understand a lot about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you could do with some percent to force the message home a bit, but instead of that, that is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

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