The Future of Project Management is Social

A guest post by Kazim Isfahani, Director, Product Marketing, Oracle

Rapid Ascent. Breakneck Speed. Lightning Fast. Perhaps even overwhelming. No matter which set of adjectives we use to describe it, social media’s rise into the enterprise mainstream has been unprecedented. Indeed, the big 4 social media powerhouses (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter), have nearly 2 Billion users between them.

You may be asking (as you should really) “That’s all well and good for the consumer, but for me at my company, what’s your point? Beyond the fact that I can check and post updates, that is.”

Good question, kind sir.

Impact of Social and Collaboration on Project Management

I’ll dovetail this discussion to the project management realm, since that’s what I’m writing about. Speed is a big challenge for project-driven organizations. Anything that can help speed up project delivery - be it a new product introduction effort or a geographical expansion project - fast is a good thing. So where does this whole social thing fit particularly since there are already a host of tools to help with traditional project execution?

The fact is companies have seen improvements in their productivity by deploying departmental collaboration and other social-oriented solutions. McKinsey’s survey on social tools shows we have reached critical scale: 72% of respondents report that their companies use at least one and over 40% say they are using social networks and blogs.

We don’t hear as much about the impact of social media technologies at the project and project manager level, but that does not mean there is none.

Consider the new hire. The type of individual entering the workforce and executing on projects is a generation of worker expecting visually appealing, easy to use and easy to understand technology meshing hand-in-hand with business processes.

Consider the project manager. The social era has enhanced the role that the project manager must play. Today’s project manager must be a supreme communicator, an influencer, a sympathizer, a negotiator, and still manage to keep all stakeholders in the loop on project progress. Social tools play a significant role in this effort.

Now consider the impact to the project team. The way that a project team functions has changed, with newer, social oriented technologies making the process of information dissemination and team communications much more fluid.

It’s clear that a shift is occurring where “social” is intersecting with project management.

The Rise of Social Project Management

We refer to the melding of project management and social networking as Social Project Management. Social Project Management is based upon the philosophy that the project team is one part of an integrated whole, and that valuable and unique abilities exist within the larger organization. For this reason, Social Project Management systems should be integrated into the collaborative platform(s) of an organization, allowing communication to proceed outside the project boundaries.

What makes social project management "social" is an implicit awareness where distributed teams build connected links in ways that were previously restricted to teams that were co-located. Just as critical, Social Project Management embraces the vision of seamless online collaboration within a project team, but also provides for, (and enhances) the use of rigorous project management techniques.

Social Project Management acknowledges that projects (particularly large projects) are a social activity - people doing work with people, for other people, with commitments to yet other people. The more people (larger projects), the more interpersonal the interactions, and the more social affects the project.

The Epitome of Social - Fusion Project Portfolio Management

If I take this one level further to discuss Fusion Project Portfolio Management, the notion of Social Project Management is on full display. With Fusion Project Portfolio Management, project team members have a single place for interaction on projects and access to any other resources working within the Fusion ERP applications. This allows team members the opportunity to be informed with greater participation and provide better information.

The application’s the visual appeal, and highly graphical nature makes it easy to navigate information. The project activity stream adds to the intuitive user experience.

The goal of productivity is pervasive throughout Fusion Project Portfolio Management. Field research conducted with Oracle customers and partners showed that users needed a way to stay in the context of their core transactions and yet easily access social networking tools. This is manifested in the application so when a user executes a business process, they not only have the transactional application at their fingertips, but also have things like e-mail, SMS, text, instant messaging, chat – all providing a number of different ways to interact with people and/or groups of people, both internal and external to the project and enterprise.

But in the end, connecting people is relatively easy. The larger issue is finding a way to serve up relevant, system-generated, actionable information, in real time, which will allow for more streamlined execution on key business processes.

Fusion Project Portfolio Management’s design concept enables users to create project communities, establish discussion threads, manage event calendars as well as deliver project based work spaces to organize communications within the context of a project – all within a secure business environment.

We’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts and ideas about how Social Project Management is impacting your organization.

To learn more about Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio Management, please visit this link


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« July 2016