The Social Storm

Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at markmullaly.com.

Social media is a phenomenon that has exploded in impact and use over the last few years. Social media itself takes many forms: Some vehicles are designed for personal use, others are more intended for professional purposes and many more blend both worlds together. Project applications are also starting to become social media “aware”: Some use social media for communications within the project team, and still others as a means of supporting broader stakeholder awareness and communications.

While the prevalence of social media is exponentially increasing, however, its use in a project sphere is still surprisingly constrained. Certainly, there have been numerous articles, presentations and even a book or two on the use of social media in project management, but on the whole these tend to view social media through a rather generic lens--and project management as a relatively fixed practice.

The result is that, while there are many applications and social media options, they tend to be used in relatively staid and predictable ways. For the most part, social media has become a new and more responsive (or more reactive) way of managing stakeholder communications. It is used to communicate project status, help maintain visibility around the project and support the overall change management effort of introducing the project results. While the implementation of …

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