What Is Project Management 2.0?

A lot of Project Managers hear about it, but not a lot know what it is about. So what is Project Management 2.0?

Project Management 2.0 – sometimes referred to as Social Project Management – is a term that was coined in 2006 (maybe earlier, there is no exact date, but that’s when the term started emerging) by an unknown Project Manager. The term highlights the influence of the new social media (built on the so-called Web 2.0 technology, this is how we probably ended up with the name Project Management 2.0) on Project Management. The term has currently no standard definition, there are literally dozens of views and articles written about Project Management 2.0, all of them are subjective and reflect the author’s own view on the term.

Having said that, most of the people who have written or spoken about the subject agree on one thing: Collaboration is at the heart of Project Management 2.0. Such collaboration is made possible using the (paid or free) online collaboration tools.

What Project Management 2.0 Is and Is Not

It is important to note that Project Management 2.0 is not a framework, is not a methodology, is not “the next big thing” in Project Management (as falsely hyped by so many companies building online tools), and does not make a Project Manager a better Project Manager. Project Management 2.0 is simply a style of work, for example, instead of using emails to update the stakeholders on the project status, stakeholders can login to the collaboration tool online and see the actual progress themselves. Another example is instead of a resource sending an email to the Project Manager about a challenge/issue in a certain task, he can simply update him (and the involved team members) via the web tool. When seeing this update by their workmate, other team members may be also interested in replying, or giving advices on the task, etc…

Advantages of Project Management 2.0

There are several advantages to Project Management 2.0, including:

  • Efficient and simplified communication between the Project Manager and the team members (and amongst team members as well). This is the most important point, as Project Management is 90% communication.
  • Immediate and up-to-date reporting on the status of the project available to all stakeholders.
  • Reducing the redundant and routine work of the Project Manager (e.g. compiling the reports, remembering to followup on emails sent to team members and or stakeholders, etc…)
  • Ability to accurately assess the real output of the team members.
  • Seamless creation of a knowledge-base that may be used for the current project and for next projects.
  • No more little issues falling through the crack anymore.

Disadvantages of Project Management 2.0

Project Management 2.0, in its current incarnation, has several disadvantages including (note that the disadvantages below can also be viewed as concerns):

  • Unless the organization hosts its own collaboration tool, privacy and security are an issue. The organization will be storing some potentially classified information on a 3rd party server, which may be in a far away continent. Although almost all companies claim that privacy and security are there utmost concerns, one has to be careful.
  • Reliability and availability are very important. The data has to be backed up constantly (on another server), and the server has to have a very high availability (nearing 100%). Compromising these 2 factors might result in a total data loss (of potentially all the company’s projects) that is unrecoverable or simply the inability to do any work (as the Project Manager will not be able to update the team members about their tasks and vice versa).
  • Misleading marketing techniques devised by companies building collaboration tools hyping the concept as the future of Project Management, while these tools are merely about organizing and streamlining communication. Project Managers, betrayed by this false promise, may blame the “tools” for the failure of their project.

Adoption of Project Management 2.0

Small companies are the largest adopters of Project Management 2.0. As companies grow larger, they become hesitant (politics, maturity, etc…) to adopt new technologies at the organizational level to manage their projects’ communication. Still, even in this case, some Project Managers may elect to individually adopt Project Management 2.0 and consequently, make their team adopt it as well.

Internet companies are by far the largest adopters of Project Management 2.0, followed by software companies. The reason for this large adoption in these 2 sectors is the highly Internet skilled personnel as well as the relatively young age of these companies.

© 2010 Project Management Learning – Reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Project Management Learning.

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