Published on August 25, 2009
Bas de Baar
Everything A Project Manager Should Know About Social Media
Social Media. Something that wasn't supposed to be valuable for business and now is.
Tada. Obvious. Projects are social interactions. Social media is about online conversations. Projects move to cyberspace…
Project trouble. Bad communication is traditionally the project killer.
It just got worse. Past: Co-located Now: global, distributed
Virtual. Less emotions and expressions in virtual communication.
Global people with different minds, different cultures. Different interpretations in communication. Flat.
Crowded. Who to choose? Who to believe? So many people available. So many people you don’t know.
Virtual, flat & crowded world creates new communication challenges. Why is social media a solution?
A document on a shared workspace is not a conversation. We need more than just “the message”
People Media. Social media puts the emphasis on the person behind the message.
Social media. Who. Are. You?
Filling blanks. When communicating with someone you don’t know… You fill in the blanks with what you do know.
Groups. We draw conclusions if we associate someone with a certain group.
Digital Groups. Is a Project Manager. Must be organized. Associated with social media. Must be young, fast, modern, hip. Likes Seth Godin. Must be out of his mind.
Group Affiliation. Group affiliation creates strong bonds. This creates trust. Trust improves communication.
Digital Affiliation. We are on Twitter. We are hip. We are today’s, modern Project Leaders. We communicate with a secret handshake: #PMOT
Reputation. What are you about? Why should I believe you?
Profiles. Who are you? What are you about?
Digital reputation. Your digital footprint. Search Google. Search Twitter.
And conversation. Almost forget… It is about conversation. And the key to an effective dialogue is…
Feedback. respectfully Let people know how you understood their message. You get a better understanding and relationship.
Digital feedback. LinkedIn Discussion Group Blog comments
Roadmap. Use Social Media (skills)… First personal and professional level before using in projects.
Personal. It’s not about the tool. It’s about you, being able to use it.
Get comfortable with digital communication. Get over your fears. Start blogging or commenting. Get comfortable.
Who am I? What are you about? What is your passion? Start talking about it to get feedback.
Professional. It’s not about the tool. It’s about you, connecting to your professional community.
Get knowledge. Start reading and participating in online communities/blogs/networks. Get into the conversation. Get knowledge.
Get noticed. Get into the conversation. Promote yourself. Brand yourself. Don’t try to sell yourself.
Role company. Employer can facilitate personal development and thought leadership. Case: Coaches Corner @ Lean Project Consulting.
Project. It’s not about the tool. It’s about you, enabling your team to work as if they are in the same room.
Project = Virtual Teams Research about successful virtual teams showed us how to use social media in projects before social media was invented.
Project. Three rules to boost your success: #1: Exploit diversity #2: Use tech to simulate reality #3: Hold the team together Source: “Can absence make a team grow stronger?”, Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps and Lipnack, Harvard Business review, 2004
#1 Exploit diversity. Diversity creates different viewpoints. Produces creative solutions. To be constructive, share peoples background, expertise and reputation. Based upon: “Can absence make a team grow stronger?”, Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps and Lipnack, Harvard Business review, 2004
#1 Lesson. Make sure profiles are used and filled. Make sure people express their expertise and experience. Make sure team members know the reputations of the other members.
#2 Simulate reality. Mimic real life group processes Provide transparent group discussions. Stimulate feedback. To make it work, agree upon how and when to communicate. Based upon: “Can absence make a team grow stronger?”, Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps and Lipnack, Harvard Business review, 2004
#2 Lesson. Use discussion boards, blogs and other feedback mechanisms. Start conversation: sponsor blogging, PM explaining decisions. Agree on how to communicate.
#3 Hold together. Make sure no team member dominates or falls behind. Make sure everyone sticks to the agreed communication protocol. Based upon: “Can absence make a team grow stronger?”, Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps and Lipnack, Harvard Business review, 2004
#3 Lesson. Lead by example. Create can’t miss events (meetings). Virtually walk around.
#4 Nurture Identity. Yeah yeah. I know. Identify commonalities between the group members that strengthen the group. Use this to emphasize a group identity. Adopt common language. Create “team only” discussions.
Tools. For private exchange of information, have a look at Yammer.com and SocialCast.com.
What’s next? No idea!
So. Social media is about human interaction. Tools will change. The underlying mechanisms are timeless. Get into it. Learn and evolve with the tools. Develop the skills needed.
Thank you. Bas de Baar Bas@ProjectShrink.com http://ProjectShrink.com
Photo credits http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/2327852352/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmajane/2580835224/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/oleswerdlow/2819770209/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/olpc/2606362543/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/london/136539453/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/613445810/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyt70/2242134179/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jblndl/3326092093/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosimoes7/2394843377/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/20636626/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mufan96/3834667650/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/sis/109532959/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakleyoriginals/3031509702/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/poptech2006/2969508698/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairity/154640125/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/metrojp/92038203/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mescon/3651742496/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mostudio/3685471977/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/3351774095/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/dylwalters/1199545090/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/13963375@N00/202146600/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/sis/506814999/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/1074766279/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pathfinderlinden/174071410/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca/3344142642/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids/3528630467/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/kirrilyrobert/2423042499/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/joopdorresteijn/3097079659/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/24258698@N04/2616485572/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/rnugraha/247871593/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/duchamp/266560083/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/167972234/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/plunkmasterknows/357836855/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/305410323/
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