8 Obvious and Not-so-Obvious Benefits of Social Media for PPM
I’ve started to collect a list of benefits to integrating social media with your PPM process and systems infrastructure. I thought I would share what I have right now starting with the more obvious and well understood benefits. I will then move on to the not-so-obvious benefits that organizations are reporting. The exciting thing is that we are in the early days of this phenomenon and that, as this technology becomes more widespread in project-intensive environments, it is likely that some or perhaps most of the really interesting enterprise applications have not yet even been contemplated.
1. Improved Project Team Collaboration and Communication
Social networking provides another channel for project teams and stakeholders to communicate and collaborate. It provides a very natural and intuitive alternative to more traditional, asynchronous and relatively static forms of electronic collaboration (e.g., email, knowledge repositories and even wikis).
2. Accelerated Individual and Team Productivity
Social media delivers a more real-time channel for user and system generated news, alerts, notifications and comments which can lead to faster decision-making, and in turn, short project life cycles.
3. Increased Project Management Effectiveness
Having accurate information regarding the status of a given project is critical to effective project management. Social media allows project teams to capture valuable project information at the source as opposed to information which is eventually packaged/formatted for entry into the PPM system.
4. Improved Project Team Cohesiveness and Morale
Social media interfaces are a good way to provide recognition that is more timely and granular than the retrospective kudos that project contributors and teams receive once they have moved on to the next project. This can help a team gel and stay motivated while the project is in-flight and there are still opportunities to positively influence outcomes and results.
5. Build More Vibrant Communities of Practice
Social communities can be built around PPM communities of practice (e.g., Agile, Lean, Six Sigma, PMBOK, COBIT, Prince II, Stage-Gate, etc.) rather than being project or program centric. PPM communities of practice connected by social media are more dynamic and responsive.
6. Access Distributed Expertise Enterprisewide
Social PPM networks can be more easily accessed and engaged and promise to leverage a wider pool of experts and mentors and associated tools, techniques and best practices.
7. Increase Executive/Leadership Engagement
Executives which are “hip” to social media will have more visibility to the triumphs, tribulations and the everyday challenges posed and overcome by the project teams charged with executing their strategies, programs and mission-critical projects. This has the potential to increase their level of engagement and support.
8. Exploit lesser known but useful PPM system capabilities
One potential benefit which may be unique to the Instantis EnterpriseStream social and collaborative feature of the EnterpriseTrack Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) system is that the system-generated messages that are posted to the social stream (in addition to the user-generated messages), can provide visibility to features of the system that the user community may not be aware, such as available alerts, notifications, document sharing capabilities, etc. Since all competitive social media capabilities are based on integrations of generic PPM platform technologies such as Yammer and Jive, communications are not context-sensitive to the PPM system environment. As a result, they cannot expose system capabilities to the same degree as a purpose-built and fully integrated social networking capability.
What am I missing? Please comment on existing or potential benefits of social media in PPM environments.