Social Media for Project Management

Social Media for Project Management

Amir Manzoor (Bahria University, Pakistan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9867-3.ch004
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Abstract

In the past, project managers could assume that most team members were in a single office location. Project management software was installed on a desktop workstation and status reports were delivered at weekly meetings. Social media use can provide real time information to project stakeholders and meet the demand of the “24 hour workday”. Social media use can reduce traveling expenses and help document best practices & project learning. This chapter explore how project managers can use social media tools and how social media tools fit effectively into each project.
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Introduction

In the past, project managers could assume that most team members were in a single office location. Project management software was installed on a desktop workstation and status reports were delivered at weekly meetings. The projects had monthly executive review. Today, the scenario has totally changed. In modern project management, it is very likely that at least one team member would likely be physically separated at least part of the time. The project executives look to view multiple projects as a portfolio while project sponsors expect real time access to project data. On top of it, we have global project management teams that have a 24-hour workday (Bredillet, 2006a; Symonds, 2013).

Social media provides many benefits. It influences how people communicate and support real time communication among all team members at the same time (Kaewkitipong, Chen, & Ractham, 2012). It helps develop relationships and build trust. Use of social media increases transparency and provides a cultural context for communication. In project management, use of social media can provide multiple benefits (Li, Chen, Zhang, & Fu, 2012). It can be used for knowledge sharing & project visibility as well as to identify, organize, and deploy project teams. It can support collaboration across departments and collaborate with remote resources. Social media use can provide real time information to project stakeholders and meet the demand of the round-the-clock workday. Social media use can reduce traveling expenses and help document best practices & project learning (Leitch, 2014; Lousberg, Wamelink, Atkin, & Borgbrant, 2009; Microsoft, n.d.). The 2011 Social Media in a Project Environment Survey results showed that 20% more people used blogs for business use than in 2010. Over 90% of respondents used social media tools to stay in touch with colleagues while a quarter of respondents used social media tools for managing project teams. Over 75% of respondents felt that social media tools could improve the way they managed projects. Online Project Management Communities have also given boost to use of social media. Currently there existed around millions of project management professionals on LinkedIn with an estimated 1 million YouTube videos on project management (Girlsguidetopm, 2012).

In today’s world, where project leaders are faced with strict deadlines and scare resources, social media is a fascinating idea. Use of social media in project management offers opportunities to achieve results through instant collaboration and information exchange (Ollus, Jansson, Karvonen, Uoti, & Riikonen, 2009). Social media is not new to project managers. What is new is the use of new social media tools to enable the process of collaboration and working with different groups of people (Ollus, Jansson, Karvonen, Uoti, & Riikonen, 2011). Social media is here to stay. Its use in project management offers great potential benefits that businesses and project managers shouldn’t ignore. The objective of this chapter is to explore how project managers can use social media tools. The other important questions to be explored are how social media tool fit effectively into each project, what some guidelines for their use are, and how project managers should leverage the functionality of social media tools.

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