Tools of Communication in Project Management

To tell you the truth, I think Dennis and I are pretty much in agreement that Social Media is a great tool for supporting project management. But how boring is that if everyone agrees all the time. Soooo, let me see if I can stir the pot a little….

In his post Leadership and Collaboration are Needed, Too, Dennis stated:

Formal project management tools can serve as starting point for communications about who is supposed to do what, and when. The larger and more complex the project, the more important role communications plays — and the more inmportant formal tools are in order to keep track of the many different “moving parts” in a large project.

I think that for the most part formal tools are vestiges of a time when information was required to flow through formal structures. The formal toolset is just professional jargon that has developed and been codified over time. The purpose was to create a shorthand way to communicate between “knowledgeable” people, i.e. those that knew the language. It kept project managers from having to “re-invent the wheel” for every project (not to mention providing job security).

As the fundamental process by which we communicate changes, a broader variety of people are becoming involved in the project process, therefore we need to move away from jargon and inaccessible tools. Social Media based tool, because of their flexibility and ease of use, can be used to meet the communications needs of projects, without carrying the baggage of the more formal tools.

The gauntlet has been thrown.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] Tools of Communicationin Project Management [...]

  2. I think at some point in the lifecycle of a project you do need some formal documents, like an approved requirements document may be or an approved schedule before you actually communicate commitments to your customer. Note how I used the attribute “approved” all the time ? Those have to be actually “controlled” – thus very formal – documents.
    But how do you get there ? A lot of work and collaboration is needed to come up with a proper schedule. How do you do all the work break down and effort estimates for instance ? That’s where to my mind social software comes into the game very nicely.
    I always favor to ask the team – the experts who will actually do the job – about what has to be done and how much effort it will take. This process of elaborating a work break down and effort estimates would be a nice candidate to be handled through more informal collaboration tools like a collaborative mind map tool for example or a wiki to discuss all deliverables needed for the project.

  3. [...] Project Management Tool to Rule Them All", "Re-Imagine Project Management", "Tools of Communication in Project Management" or even "What Do We Mean by "Social Media"?" will surely grab your [...]

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