Social Project Management?

Social Project Management?

Gilbert Silvius (LOI University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands & University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch103
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Abstract

This conclusion aims to reflect upon and summarize the lessons that may be learned from this book. In three concise paragraphs, it discusses the common ground amongst the different contributions, the ‘takeaways' from the book and the concept of ‘social project management' as the future outlook on social media in project management.
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Common Ground

When reflecting upon the contributions in this book, some common ground can be discovered amongst the different contributions.

Efficient and Effective Team Communication

First of all, social media provides an opportunity for supporting efficient and effective team communication in project teams. Many contributions in this book, most notably chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 13, highlight the opportunities that social media offer for supporting efficient and effective communication within project teams.

Understand Differences

While recognizing the opportunities of social media, chapter 8 highlights the fact that the social media landscape is not unified. By discussing differences between regions, countries and generations, this contribution makes us aware that a social media communication strategy needs to be carefully planned, especially in the case of international projects with geographically dispersed teams.

Develop a Plan

Plan the project’s social media communication strategy is also the conclusion that comes from chapter 11, the analysis of project management apps. An example of the development of such a social media communication strategy is contributed in chapter 12. The step-for-step approach described here may provide project managers with a practical process description for the development of their communication strategy.

There is a Learning Curve

The cases reported in chapters 14 and 15 show us that there will be a learning curve in the effective use of social media. Just as any new technology requires some ‘getting used to’, this may also be the case in the application of social media in the professional setting of projects.

And there May be Barriers

Chapters 2 and 7 help us to understand that the adoption of social media in projects may also experience barriers. Some of these barriers may have to do with individual concerns of team members, for example loss of privacy and blurring of lines between professional and personal online presence, whereas other barriers may be caused by the organization’s engaged in the project. For example concerns about data security or compliancy with the organization’s policies.

Social Media in Stakeholder Engagement is Lagging Behind

A final reflection should be that the ‘external’ use of social media, the use of social media in stakeholder engagement, is lagging behind the ‘internal’ use, the use of social media within the project team. In the ‘opportunity’ section of the book, chapters 1 to 4, do identify stakeholder management as an application area of social media in projects, however, the use of social media with the project team is more prominent in these contributions. This bias towards the internal use of social media is even stronger within the sections ‘human factor’ and ‘tools and technologies’, where only chapter 11 explicitly discusses the use of social media for stakeholder engagement. In the ‘cases and applications’ section, chapters 12 and 16 report cases in which the use of social media was specifically aimed at engaging with external stakeholders.

Should it be concluded that in the external use of social media in projects the actual use of social media is ahead of our conceptual understanding of this use?

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What Should You Take Away?

What should you take away from this book? Well, first of all some questions. Questions on how social media are used in your project and on how they may be used in your project. The following paragraph discusses these questions.

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