Sunday, July 13, 2014

Making social media relevant to project management

A comment exchange with kvd on Prince2, PMBOK and all that project management stuff reminded me of an element from the course that go me musing,

We were talking about virtual teams. The question was which communications tools would you use to support the teams. It won’t come as a surprise that I mentioned social media. The reaction from the group was quite negative.

I need to give you a little background here. The small agency that I am supporting at present is part of a much bigger agency. The bigger agency has suddenly gone into social media, including installing yammer, a Facebook style system designed for enterprise use. It’s very underutilised at our place because people haven’t worked out how to use it to achieve their own ends.

My suggestion was that we might create a closed yammer group where each member of the team could access material as required, check threads as required. We might also post photos and other team material.  People just didn’t get it. They went for emails, a section on the intranet, video-conferencing. Video conferencing has the advantage of interactivity, but most of the other suggestions did not.

Thinking about the discussion. one of the threads coming through was a very negative reaction to Facebook. This actually had nothing to do with my suggestion since this was a controlled use to achieve defined ends, but it did affect responses.

That decided me to try an experiment. From Monday, I am going to use the Departmental yammer system in exactly the same way that I use Facebook and other forms of social media, if with a specific work focus.

This is actually a very rebellious thought. As a contractor, the worst that can happen to me is that they refuse to extend my contact. I never expected that my current contract would roll on to the point that I have become part of the folk memory of the place. Ask Jim, people say!

So, and because this is a structured experiment, I will report on progress. Can I change a mega-agency from the bottom? We will see. At the very least, I will make yammer relevant.  


Anonymous said...

Whenever "project management" comes up I think of this fellow:

I had scarce got a furlong on our way when I began to reflect on the vissitude of human affairs; but in the midst of all I felt an inward happyness and peculiar pleasure which prevented any depression of my Spirits. Conscious of my own integrity and anxious solicitude for the good of the service I was on. I found my mind most wonderfully supported and began

I think I have referred before to a boat full of oars, and the benefit of careful direction. This man exemplifies that:


Jim Belshaw said...

Now who would have thought that Captain Bligh could be used as a project management illustration? It's not a bad analogy!

Winton Bates said...

Do they read your blog, Jim?

Jim Belshaw said...

A few do Winton, but I am careful about promoting the blogs at work. It's a kind of a privacy buffer, a distinction between the current contact Jim and the public Jim.

I did put up a project management note on the Departmental yammer system this morning, but I gave a link other than my own post. I suppose that it's silly really, to find me you only have to do a google search, but it is an illusion of privacy!

Thinking about it, it's probably a silly illusion. I am not a staff member and I do want to bring about change.