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