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A guest post by Kazim Isfahani, Director, Product Marketing, Oracle
Rapid Ascent. Breakneck
Speed. Lightning Fast. Perhaps even overwhelming. No matter which set
of adjectives we use to describe it, social media’s rise into the enterprise
mainstream has been unprecedented. Indeed, the big 4 social media powerhouses
(Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter), have nearly 2 Billion users between
You may be asking (as you should really) “That’s all well
and good for the consumer, but for me at my company, what’s your point? Beyond
the fact that I can check and post updates, that is.”
Good question, kind sir.
Impact of Social and
Collaboration on Project Management
I’ll dovetail this discussion to the project management
realm, since that’s what I’m writing about. Speed is a big challenge for project-driven
organizations. Anything that can help speed up project delivery - be it a new
product introduction effort or a geographical expansion project - fast is a
good thing. So where does this whole
social thing fit particularly since there are already a host of tools to help
with traditional project execution?
The fact is companies have seen improvements in their
productivity by deploying departmental collaboration and other social-oriented solutions.
McKinsey’s survey on social tools shows we have reached critical scale: 72% of respondents
report that their companies use at least one and over 40% say they are using
social networks and blogs.
We don’t hear as much about the impact of social media
technologies at the project and project manager level, but that does not mean
there is none.
Consider the new hire. The type of individual entering the
workforce and executing on projects is a generation of worker expecting visually
appealing, easy to use and easy to understand technology meshing hand-in-hand
with business processes.
Consider the project manager. The social era has enhanced
the role that the project manager must play. Today’s project manager must be a
supreme communicator, an influencer, a sympathizer, a negotiator, and still
manage to keep all stakeholders in the loop on project progress. Social tools
play a significant role in this effort.
Now consider the impact to the project team. The way that a
project team functions has changed, with newer, social oriented technologies
making the process of information dissemination and team communications much
It’s clear that a shift is occurring where “social” is
intersecting with project management.
The Rise of Social
We refer to the melding of project management and social
networking as Social Project Management. Social Project Management is based
upon the philosophy that the project team is one part of an integrated whole,
and that valuable and unique abilities exist within the larger organization.
For this reason, Social Project Management systems should be integrated into
the collaborative platform(s) of an organization, allowing communication to proceed
outside the project boundaries.
What makes social project management "social" is
an implicit awareness where distributed teams build connected links in ways
that were previously restricted to teams that were co-located. Just as
critical, Social Project Management embraces the vision of seamless online
collaboration within a project team, but also provides for, (and enhances) the
use of rigorous project management techniques.
Social Project Management acknowledges that projects
(particularly large projects) are a social activity - people doing work with
people, for other people, with commitments to yet other people. The more people
(larger projects), the more interpersonal the interactions, and the more social
affects the project.
The Epitome of Social
- Fusion Project Portfolio Management
If I take this one level further to discuss Fusion Project Portfolio
Management, the notion of Social Project Management is on full display. With
Fusion Project Portfolio Management, project team members have a single place
for interaction on projects and access to any other resources working within
the Fusion ERP applications. This allows team members the opportunity to be
informed with greater participation and provide better information.
The application’s the visual appeal, and highly graphical
nature makes it easy to navigate information. The project activity stream adds
to the intuitive user experience.
The goal of productivity is pervasive throughout Fusion
Project Portfolio Management. Field research conducted with Oracle customers
and partners showed that users needed a way to stay in the context of their
core transactions and yet easily access social networking tools. This is
manifested in the application so when a user executes a business process, they
not only have the transactional application at their fingertips, but also have
things like e-mail, SMS, text, instant messaging, chat – all providing a number
of different ways to interact with people and/or groups of people, both
internal and external to the project and enterprise.
But in the end, connecting people is relatively easy. The
larger issue is finding a way to serve up relevant, system-generated,
actionable information, in real time, which will allow for more streamlined
execution on key business processes.
Fusion Project Portfolio Management’s design concept enables
users to create project communities, establish discussion threads, manage event
calendars as well as deliver project based work spaces to organize
communications within the context of a project – all within a secure business
We’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts and ideas
about how Social Project Management is impacting your organization.
To learn more about Oracle Fusion Project Portfolio
Management, please visit this link