How Social Media Benefit Project Management

First, the benefits. From an operational standpoint, the adoption of social media tools within the context of project management makes sense, particularly as organizations evolve to accommodate market conditions and economic realities. With cost constraints, tight deadlines and shareholder concerns, companies are looking for innovative -- and efficient -- ways to achieve organizational goals.

Knowledge sharing and project visibility are critical as organizations look to project management as a strategic competency that drives new ideas and achieves business results. Social media provides companies with the ability to quickly identify, organize and deploy teams, collaborate across borders and between departments, and see an immediate measurable organizational benefit. It also provides a means for project managers to meet the demands of the 24-hour workday, which requires the ability to provide real-time information to stakeholders from any location at any time.

It makes sense from a fiscal standpoint as well. Social media tools not only foster communication and availability but they allow for financial savings within an organization. The cost of traveling expenses and monthly telephone bills can be reduced by using a videoconference program such as Skype to host a meeting. These savings can be reallocated to other departments or projects within the company.

In addition, social media can serve as a cornerstone of best practices and organizational knowledge. During a lengthy project, teams gather a fair amount of data, which need to be handed over to the operational team at the end, when the project team is disbanded. A Wiki - an online documentation platform that allows the creation and editing of interlinked websites - captures this data in a structured way as the project progresses. Wikis can also be used at a PMO level for gathering lessons learned throughout the course of various projects. Since Wikis are easy to search, project managers have fast access to information relevant to their work and can update that information with knowledge that could lead to future improvements.

This article was originally published on 10-03-2011
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