The Role of Social Media in 'Mainstream' Projects

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

It has always struck me as slightly odd that some elements of work are automatically associated with projects, while others are rarely even mentioned in the context of project work.

Take a new product, for example. The physical development of that product—the design, manufacture, software development, testing and quality assurance—are automatically assumed to be part of the project that develops that product. But the work to market and sell that product is rarely thought of as part of the development process.

There’s some logic behind that; the product must be produced, or at least the production process has to be pretty far along, before sales and marketing can kick in, so you could argue that such effort is downstream of the product development process.

Fair enough…but shouldn’t sales and marketing then be another project in the larger product development program?

Another argument says that sales and marketing isn’t really part of the development process; it happens downstream and continues throughout the product’s lifecycle.

Okay, but the product can’t succeed without sales and marketing, and the success of the project must be measured in terms of the business value that is achieved from the investment in the new product, so there has to be a relationship. And while sales of a direct-to-consumer product can be …

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"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

- Oscar Wilde