Author: Nandini Sharma

Five Foolproof Ways Social Media Can Benefit Project Management

Using social media for project management might not have seemed effective to both project managers and organizations a few years ago but things have changed and how!

Gone are the days when social media was no more than just a medium for users to forge new connections.

It’s amazing how social media has opened up an array of possibilities for businesses of all sizes and types to enhance communication and collaboration, which are two of the most crucial drivers in project management.

Project managers and organizations have realized that the far-reaching influence of social media can be utilized in more ways than one when it comes to project management.

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Social Media, Communication And Project Management

 Communication is the core of project management; it should flow quickly to the right people at the right time.

Increasing number of team members, clients, and stakeholders are working from different geographical locations and different time zones. Therefore, project managers have to look for ways to maintain seamless communication among all those who are involved in a project.

In this context, social media can prove to be a great binding force that enables people to share ideas, information, feedback, videos, personal messages, etc. All social media platforms provide a quick and reliable platform for users to be on the same page and collaborate to achieve set targets.

Social media should not only be looked at as wide-scale networking platforms but also as technology that facilitates prompt and information-rich communication among users.

Before we go on to discuss some undeniable benefits of social media in the field of project management, it would be worth taking a pause and reflect on the 6 C’s that drive and underpin social media usage in the business world.

6 Vital C’s Of Social Media In Contemporary Times

1. Collaboration

Collaboration and social media are synonymous with each other. Sharing of messages, files and documents, images, audio and video files among users is common on various social media channels. Since project management involves sharing and collaboration of more or less the same elements, social media can prove to be a useful addition.

2. Community

Social media revolves around creating and building communities with people/ groups with similar interests and ideas. That’s the primary purpose for users to use social media – to share and exchange information in virtual communities.

3. Conversation

Social media thrives on the regular flow of communication; people coming together to discuss trending topics and areas of common interest. Even a single message can reach millions of people across different platforms and they can reply within seconds. Another aspect where social media can be of a great addition to project management.

4. Content

We’ve all heard that content is king, and this saying holds true for social media. Engaging, original, and relevant content has the potential to engage social media users by providing them with valuable information on a range of topics. Content is rightly termed as the center of social media engagement.

5. Curation

Curation refers to classifying, organizing, and maintaining content by social media participants. Curation is a collaborative effort where individuals circulate valuable content within their communities and explain how it adds value and what they’ve learned from it.

6. Culture

Social media revolves around group culture, which thrives on collaboration and communication. It’s amazing how a single click can enable people to express their views within seconds!

All these C’s are interconnected. For example, curated content can lead to conversations, which are the foundation stones of your community and culture.

Undeniable Benefits Of Social Media For Project Management

We have read how social media is a strong platform for people from different backgrounds to connect seamlessly with each other. Social media has brought the world closer together through its range of features that can help to simplify complex project management.

Let’s take a look at how social media can benefit project management in more ways than one.

1. Communication Management

Popular social media platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Quora, and even WhatsApp are today widely accessed by professionals and common man alike. These platforms are easy to use and 24×7 available, which enables users to communicate without any time restrictions.

A project manager and his or her staff can leverage one or more social media platforms to support such a high level of communication. Social media apps have inbuilt features like audio calling, video calling, and text-based secure messaging. These communication modes can be used by team members for sharing and updating project-related information.

2. Project Updates

Social media has a huge and diverse user base and its agility of information can play a determining role in the management of project updates. Large and complex projects, especially, call for updating the right people at the right time, which is not a straightforward task.

Social media platforms can empower project managers and their teams to add efficiency to their updates management. These updates can be about tasks and project progress, issues faced, potential resolutions, team building activities, milestones, decision-making meetings, etc.

3. Training And Learning Management

One of the key areas where social media could be of great use in the project management field is the management of training and learning given to team members during the project. Lessons learned during the project can often get buried under heaps of paperwork, and most people do not take much interest in retrieving them.

Social media enables project managers and organizations to collect and store this vital piece of information through the active involvement of all participants. This information can be easily accessed, shared, and used by people for improving the quality of next projects by reducing risks.

4. Issues Management

Issues management often involves several team members and speedy actions. Therefore, involving the right people in time becomes crucial to mitigate the negative effects of issues arising within the project. Social media is an ideal tool to distribute information to selected people that are involved in a particular issue(s) management.

The information distribution could be for many purposes, which depends on the level of involvement, like:

  • For keeping informed and involved considering seniority and managerial position
  • People who are responsible for troubleshooting the issue
  • Experts whose inputs are sought on managing the arising issues
  • For capturing the learned lessons as a result of emerging issues
  • For updating the risk management and project plans.

5. Financial Savings

For SMEs, financial savings are of paramount importance. Social media can help small and medium-sized businesses in saving money by minimizing the costs of traveling, communication (phone bills), and even accommodation.

Video conferencing systems allow team members working from different locations to be on a common platform and exchange information and ideas without having to travel to attend group meetings.

Epilogue

Social media has evolved from merely being a social interaction tool to a comprehensive and collaborative platform. It’s amazing how various social media platforms can help project management teams to be on the same page through swift and efficient communication, file sharing, collaboration, and much more.

There are enough strong reasons for you to merge social media with project management and reap dividends. If you are still not using social media in your project management efforts, it’s high time for you to start thinking about it.

Good luck!

How to Successfully Balance the Project Management Triangle

A project manager has to deal with many concerns simultaneously for project success.

The Project Management Triangle is associated with three major factors that affect the results of a project.

Three Points Of A Project Management Triangle Include:

  • Cost
  • Scope
  • Time

These Three Constraints Are Interrelated. Let’s See How:

Let’s say your client asks you to expand the scope of a current project you are working on. Now, when the scope will expand, the time taken to complete the project as well as the cost incurred will also change. That is why the interdependence between these three factors makes them a project management triangle.

Creating a balance among these three constraints becomes very important for a project manager in order to deliver a quality product.

If we look at the following picture, you can see that quality is placed in the middle of the triangle while time, cost and scope are placed at the ends. It indicates that quality is a factor that cannot be compromised with or negotiated with, whereas time, cost and scope are negotiable or subject to change.

Why Is it Important to Manage This Project Management Triangle in a balanced way?

The three constraints of project management software have to be kept in mind from the very beginning of a project. Taking care of these helps the project managers adapt to the changing requirements of a project without affecting cost and the time taken.

This triangle of project management finds its reference in Agile methodology.

An agile methodology is an approach to project management which is based on the basic belief that changes are bound to occur in the way of software development or project completion. Any unforeseen situation during the project lifecycle can demand changes and adapting to these changes successfully ensures project success.

While the traditional methods of project management which are not flexible and do not adopt changes can result in failed projects.

When you are prepared to manage any unforeseen changes, the final output of a product is not jeopardized.

Let us have a detailed understanding of the project management triangle and how changes in any one of its constraints can affect the entire project.

Terms related to the project management triangle:

Scope

By scope, we mean all the work that has to be completed and all the services that have to be provided in a project. The entire spectrum of tasks is involved in it.

Now, an addition in the scope i.e. the amount of work would mean an extension of time required as well as the money spent on a project. Also, an addition to the functionalities would also require more resources which you might not have thought about at the time of planning.

 The hiring of more resources for this project puts the project manager in a tight spot as the expenses as well as the development process lengthens up.


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Time

Time is one of the vertices of a project management triangle and plays a major role in deciding the success and failure of projects. Generally, at the beginning of a project, clients ask the question- how much time it will take to complete the project and what would be the exact cost?

Now, answering this question can be a little difficult for a project manager. A proper estimation of all other factors (resources, the type of project, potential bottlenecks etc.) becomes important to calculate time.

Cost

Cost is of paramount importance and if gone beyond the estimation can lead to a serious failure of a project.

Generally, cost is calculated for clients using the following formula

Service hours(h) * Rate per hour($ )= cost($)

Change requests or requests to add functionality can severely affect the cost of a project.

How to Strike a Balance in the Project Management Triangle?

PM Jan12 20 1

Source: https://appinventiv.com/blog/how-to-balance-project-management-triangle/

Here are the approaches that project managers can use to strike a balance between the constraints of a project management solution.

Use a Project Management Software

A project management solution becomes a medium to make better time estimations, better cost estimations as well as defining the scope becomes easier.

Let’s understand in some detail.

Basically, project management solutions like BrightWork, ProofHub, Asana, Wrike etc. become a central place where you can plan, collaborate, discuss and get reports on your projects. Your entire team can contribute to project progress and give useful input without even the need to call meetings every time.

How a project management tool helps in balancing the PM triangle.

  • It helps in planning your projects in a visual way using tools like a Gantt chart. You can keep all the project tasks against a timeline and see how much time each task will take. When all tasks are laid out in a timeline form, you can very well decide the resources required and the budget needed. Once clear on these parameters, you can communicate the same to the clients and also keep them in loop to maintain transparency.
  • Apart from this, you can see bottlenecks or problem areas of your project while the project is in progress. All your tasks can be placed in the form of a board and you can see your tasks moving through various stages in real-time. This helps you ensure that you are not running behind the decided timeline so that the project does not get overdue.
  • The readymade templates of project management software can help you plan your projects quickly without the need to start from scratch.
  • Collaboration becomes effortless and clarity on roles and responsibilities is maintained. 
  • You can make changes in the schedule easily on a Gantt chart and everyone will be updated.
  • Managers can get clear visibility into the workload of individual team members and make appropriate decisions.

Conclusion

Effective planning, clear visibility into the processes, the ability to make adjustments on the go can act as the hallmarks of maintaining a stable relationship among different constraints of project management.

Communication is yet another important factor that lets your projects not slip out of hands. When an effortless and effective communication is maintained among team members and managers at all times, the efficiency increases manifold and projects can be completed successfully within decided time frame and budget.