I interviewed the co-founders of #PMChat Robert Kelly Managing Partner of KPS, and Robert Prinzo, Consulting Partner of The Prinzo Group to learn more about their twitter chat. I asked both of them a few questions about project management, social media and #PMChat. Here’s what they had to say about it…
NC:Project Managers can earn PDUs by participating in the chat and speaking also. Can you tell us more about the educational value of participating in your pre-game show and chat?
The PDU they earn each week is a result in participating in the hour-long Tweet up we facilitate each week and it falls under Category C of PMIs self-directed learning. The real benefit to participants comes from discussing common challenges other leaders are facing from all around the world and across every business landscape imaginable. It would be an interesting exercise to see the combined experience of the core group that participates week-after-week....back of the napkin, rough guess is some 350 years of experience in both private and public sector is represented on these chats. Participants will hear about their lessons learned, shared resources, best practices and develop connections beyond the one hour session. As for the Pre-Game show, this is a rapid 15-minute interview with the expert guest of the week. The expert provides a guest blog post on the topic of the week over at PMChat.net and then joins Rob Prinzo and I for a live discussion on the same topic. With Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google+, etc many folks are simply broadcasting the same message/material on all but we took a different approach. Time is valuable and you don’t need to see/hear the same thing on every channel...this isn’t the nightly news. We may touch on the blog post or incorporate one of the Twitter Chat questions, but the Pre-Game show is meant to be a live, rapid 15-minute discussion on other aspects of the same topic. Each tool is meant to provide a different view that meets the community where they are at and add value every step of the way.
NC:What has been the best BlogTalk Radio segment for 2011 as part of your pre-game show and follow up chat?
Robert Kelly: Wow, this is difficult because we really have had some great folks on the show. I might default to Prinzo on this one. Okay, I won’t slither away on this. If I had to pick just one, I would say the show on Project Failure and Root Cause Analysis with guest Jon Hyde. With project failure being reported as high as 70%, it is clearly a topic that requires attention. John provided a very good post that week on the topic as well with my favorite line being “Projects fail because projects are difficult.”
Rob Prinzo – I agree with Robert that this is a difficult question, but also I enjoyed having Jon Hyde, aka @PublicSectorPM on the show. Jon had some good insights and he was our first guest from Europe which I thought was really cool as it showed the possibilities for future chats. For example this week, we are having Deanne Earle from Italy on the PreGame Show.
NC:What goals do you have to grow #PMChat into a larger community?
Robert Kelly: Rob and I have not sat down and put hard numbers to it yet. We are only in our 4th month and have been very impressed with the growth and most important number is difficult to measure...engagement. While we love to have a community of thousands, we do not want this to grow into a community or hashtag that becomes of series of RTs and one-way communication. A few months back we had #PMChat’ers collaborating on a book title and last week one of the junior members was able to receive some guidance on a WBS he was working for class. The community talks chats on Saturday and has a lot fun. We even had a #PMChat roundtrip, in which a number of community posted pics of what was outside their window at the moment. You can check that out here. If the group remained engaged like it is, I don’t think we would care much if it remained the same size as it is today. I do think there added benefit from growing the size of participation, as the experiences and view points would grow as well. Project Managers benefit a great deal from lessons learned, case study, and collaboration. If we had to put a number on it...grow the PMChat on LinkedIn group to some 300-400 members, double the Pre-Game listens to approximately 125 per week, and grow the Twitter audience from the 32,000 up to some 100,000 (hash tracker numbers) in 2012.
Rob Prinzo – As Robert said, we have not done a whole lot of planning for growth. Our strategy is to continue to provide quality content and discussion. There are a lot of Project Management communities and websites, our goal at least at this point, is to remain an open community with members who are continuously engaged and want to contribute to the community. I look at each week like a party or maybe more appropriate term would be ‘happy hour’ where Robert and I are the hosts providing the venue and topic, but the real value is who comes to the party and what they bring. The fact that it discussion continues throughout the week and people look forward to next week’s chat makes it all the better.
NC:Tell our gantthead.com folks more about how they can get involved with #PMChat on Linked in and Twitter.
Robert Kelly: We would live their involvement, considering they make the community a success. I would say they should head on over to PMChat.net and check out some of the links we have to the Pre-Game Show, past guest blogs, and the weekly chat recap. Get a feel for what we are about and then listen in to the Pre-Game and join a chat via Twitter. After they grab the PDU information, they should check out the calendar of topics we have covered or are scheduled to cover and then go to the ‘Suggestion Box’ tab and submit a topic idea for a future chat. If they would like to be a guest expert and provide a blog, as well as join the live show, they can do that on that tab as well. Lastly, we would like to see their blogs added to our auto-feed as well.
Rob Prinzo – I would say if you are new to social media and Twitter, just follow the HashTag #PMChat and observe a weekly discussion. As we mentioned, our community is open so there is no obligation.
NC:Do you have a speaker list lined up for 2012 and what exciting topics do you have in store for the #PMChat community?
Robert Kelly: We usually tackle this in 2 month chunks, so December is published and January guests are being confirmed. We will start out the year with a discussion an Agile, then move on to PM Development, followed by Risk. We will close out the month with Developing an Executive Presence. So there is a lot of opportunity for people to submit topics and join as an expert of the week.
Rob Prinzo – We get at least 50% lot of the topics from the members. If you have an idea, please submit a topic via the Suggestion Box menu at www.pmchat.net
NC:What are your top 5 (or more) tips you'd like to share from your #PMChat. Share the tweets if possible. (Humor is good)
- When speaking of handling conflict - @publicsectorpm: a4: beer helps… #pmchat (Did I say something about having fun on this chat?)
- When speaking of accepting a business case for the project and what should a PM look for - @PPMpractitioner A1 Above all it must support a specific business need, providing arguments to support it and options considered
- What are misconceptions of the waterfall process - @AndyBud A6, ‘current buzzwords’ waterfall is seen as ‘sooo last year’ or by its name a lower class of project delivery
- What are your ‘best practices’ for developing a strong project team? @UnlikeBefore #PMChatA1: Clarity, honesty, integrity. Let them get do what they’re good at – get out of their way
- Q2: The 10-12 reasons project failure are pretty consistent. in your opinion why do projects fail? @klkaz@null #pmchatA2. Poorly defined/understood/communicated requirements and expectations