Putting the “Social” into Project Management

Social Project Management is about people. Social Project Management empowers people to engage in the project management process. Participation is critical not only to share project information but also to build social relationships between project team members and project stakeholders for the collective benefit of all participants. Social Project Management embodies the social networking paradigm that now dominates the way people create connections and conduct conversations over the Internet.

The combination of rigorous project management functionality with leading enterprise social collaboration platforms from HCL, Microsoft and Google opens project participation up to all project constituencies, not just a project management team tasked with updating and managing plans and schedules. Whereas in the past a project team member might focus on the tasks assigned to her, but be unaware of wider project progress, a successful Social Project Management implementation motivates participants to actively engage in the project management process, work in their now familiar informal social paradigm, and take a stake in overall success.

So you’re not a Project Manager?

It takes a team of people to make projects work. For the majority, work means accomplishing tasks. Work does not mean sitting in meetings talking about tasks or spending valuable time creating status reports about tasks. If you’re not a project manager, odds are you don’t have time to add extra work to the volume of work you’re already doing.

Social Project Management solves this dilemma for the project team. The social savvy transformational technology empowers a project community to work together better and faster using their enterprise social platform to collaborate efficiently. Some vendors have added some social-looking capabilities to their project management software and called it social project management. Others have departed from project management principles and assumed social is a departure from rigor. Social project management in its pure form is one of the pillars of social business and therefore the project engagement platform must be the enterprise social platform in order to avoid counter-productive information fragmentation and parallel collaboration would still occur.

Trilog Group’s ProjExec includes two unique innovations. The first innovation – the Project Wall – is a project-centric activity stream integrated with the Enterprise Social platform that makes ProjExec infinitely more than a simple project database and reporting tool. The Project Wall lets team members easily share what they know and what they are working on using an intuitive and enjoyable Facebook-like social environment to do work. The Project Wall facilitates project participation and engagement. Like popular social media tools, the Project Wall enables spontaneous sharing of knowledge, spontaneous creation of connections and communities of interest, spontaneous identification of and learning from subject matter experts – all in the context of project work, tasks and activities. “What are you working on?” turns interactive micro-blogging into a living project history that offers greater visibility and delivers project success – all in the course of an enjoyable social work forum. The second innovation – the Social Gantt – establishes the next milestone in modern project management tools. Mainstream project scheduling tools such as MS Project have provided sophisticated Gantt editing capabilities for many years. Unfortunately, these tools did not evolve fast enough to address the needs of the social project manager. These needs are expressed as having one integrated tool for project scheduling and social communications in context. The ProjExec Social Gantt is the first tool that offers this type of tight integration by integrating micro-blogging and activity streams within the tool itself. It makes it possible for the social project managers to socially interact with project participants in the context of each task or deliverable from within their project scheduling tool. The Social Gantt is also an open project management tool that is compatible with MS Project file formats and supports round-trip with MS Project allowing project managers to instantly take advantage of social project management with their existing project schedule.

Advancing Social Project Management in the Enterprise

Trilog Group is the first to introduce a Social Project Management solution that can truly scale to the enterprise. ProjExec lets enterprise customers manage complex cross-organization projects as well as agile projects, enabling organizations to work better while socializing better. Enterprise customers can leverage significant investment in the IBM collaboration infrastructure. ProjExec plugs into your Enterprise collaborative environment to complement existing Enterprise social and collaborative tools and services with tightly integrated and robust project management functionality that accommodates extremely large and complex projects with ease. Most importantly, ProjExec respects the business constraints, security concerns and business controls that are critical to any enterprise, large or small – all while leveraging the IBM collaboration infrastructure to extend your enterprise and stay secure. By socially enabling business processes so everyone can participate within the boundaries of the everyday work environment, adoption across the enterprise is swift and successful.