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Getting Value Out of Social Project Management

The warm glow of social networking may have already enchanted a billion Facebook users, but what about project management? Perhaps you’re still pondering the potential of getting different project actors to communicate with each other. If so, it may be good to take a step back and consider enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) first. By taking a holistic view of all the project activity in an organization, management can use EPPM to better decide the priorities and the resource allocations that will be best overall – rather than on a project by project basis. That knowledge comes from comparing data for the projects, but it also comes from gathering the inputs and comments of the people working on them. This is where social project management comes in.

More than Project Management 2.O

Social project management is a means to an end. We’re conditioned to nod our heads when a suggestion is made to improve communication between teams and team members. But the real benefits are in getting better productivity from increased engagement and job satisfaction, and better end-results from more insights. As the saying goes, in order to have one good idea, first have lots of ideas. That’s what social project management helps to do. The wave of ‘Project Management 2.0’ with its additional communication and collaboration tools was a step in the right direction. However, on its own it suffered from being a solution looking for a problem. Social project management makes uses expected project end results as its starting point for defining new ways of working. Communication and collaboration are brought in to serve project management, rather than the other way round.

Instantis EnterpriseStream

Oracle’s Instantis EPPM (enterprise project portfolio management) solution has social project management built in as the EnterpriseStream module. It’s a tool that contributes to achieving project and project management objectives. This is an important difference compared to other project management solutions that rely on external social media. Third-party social networks are typically not built with project management in mind. They may not therefore offer the advantages that a purpose-built solution does.

What Does It Do?

EnterpriseStream offers a number of project-oriented functionality to engage project team members and improve project results – both individually and collectively. Being already integrated into Instantis EnterpriseTrack EPPM means that setup is rapid. Users are automatically registered in EnterpriseStream based on their social graph (the links they have with other users of the system, like Facebook’s approach). They are also kept up to date with project events by an automatic stream ticker (think Twitter). The social ticker then allows users to drill down to get detail on the project event or document being referenced.

Benefits to the Organization

EnterpriseStream can add value to an organization in three ways: enhanced visibility and team morale; improved productivity; and better and faster project execution. Like the dashboard and reporting capabilities in Instantis that are available to users at all stages of the project, EnterpriseStream forms a communication base that stretches from start to finish. That includes project planning, selection, mobilization, execution and measurement. With social project management in the role of a constant companion and faithful servant, enterprises can reap real benefits that go beyond just following a fashion.

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