Social project management is a form of project management in which all parties use social networking software to share information and ensure data are current. While project management requires that a professional creates guidelines and delegates tasks, social project management puts more emphasis on the skills and perspectives of individual team members. Special software is often incorporated to ensure that all parties working on a project are on the same page and are capable of making well informed decisions.
A primary tenet of social project management is that all members of a team should be fully aware of each facet of a project. In most cases, a project describes a temporary initiative in which all members of a team work to accomplish a common goal. Conventional project management requires that only a manager sets goals and evaluates conclusions. When project management is based on social networking, however, each member of a team should feel that he or she has contributed something important. Individuals who have completed a social project should feel a sense of pride or ownership.
Transparency is essential in social project management. All members of team, regardless of their status, should be able to observe progress and understand why certain steps are necessary. When team members do not have access to all relevant information, they are unable to contribute fully to projects.
Many project managers use a system of activity streaming to keep team members informed. Activity streaming occurs when team members receive a constant stream of information related to a project on which they are working. Even if workers do not read each and every bit of data that passes on their screens, they gain an ambient awareness of information. Ambient awareness describes a peripheral understanding of intelligence.
One danger of social project management is that individual workers may not get credit for their contributions. For this reason, it is a good idea to allow team members to view audit trails. If workers are held responsible for their contributions, they can be acknowledged for their accomplishments. This also enables workers to feel that they are in control of projects and responsible for outcomes.
In order for social project management to be successful, all team members must agree to follow set schedules and to take standards and goals seriously. As in conventional project management, this requires good cost analysis and risk management. Likewise, workers should have access to software that is easy for them to use and which includes interfaces that are pleasant to access.