PPMv2 – Social Project Management

As we launch PPM v2 into the market, I’d like to share some of the thinking and ideas behind the solution, specifically our thoughts and ideas around Social PPM.

If you look at a typical project, it is initiated, planned out, executed, and eventually (hopefully) closed out successfully.  Those are the parts of a project we’re all familiar with.  However, if we look just below this surface of the project, there is much more going on.

People, Process, and Technologies

My personal background is around software process improvement and I have had the honor of working with some of the best and brightest minds trying to solve the problem of managing projects and programs successfully.  In this work, I must have met a dozen people who believe they came up with the concept that to be successful the People, Process, and Technologies must all align and work together.  You may think that sounds obvious, but apparently it isn’t. We’ve found—and its supported by others—that most organizations focus most of their attention on the processes and technologies and completely miss what I consider the most important element of project management. . .the people!

In fact, if you look at an organization of any size, the most people-intensive activity is managing projects.  According to the Project Management Institute, a typical project manager will spend 90% of their time communicating.  A project is made up of nothing but people and it starts all the way back in the PMO.  Usually there is a team who decides which projects get funded and why.  Then a PM is assigned and he/she assembles a team for planning.  Then the project is staffed and the team gets to work.  Yet another set of people are responsible for monitoring portfolios of projects and ensuring they are meeting the business goals and stay on track.  You probably get the point…..there are so many people involved that play such a critical part of success or failure.

Productivity Through Connecting People

It also seems obvious that connecting people who wouldn’t normally interact can have amazing results.  We see this in something as simple as finding childhood friends and reconnecting to communities springing up to solve a problem.  You see people with skills or money providing assets to others around the globe.

Taking this power of social connections to a business context is something that is a hot topic today.  This is why we have integrated a social community component into our PPMv2 solution.  By allowing project teams to have a web 2.0 community, they are able to easily brainstorm, share thoughts and concerns, and even share improvements they find to make their lives easier.  This simple concept of making it easy for a project team to communicate and collaborate completely transforms the way a project team stays connected.  But of course people work in roles and across multiple projects.  We have addressed this as well by integrating communities for each major component of PPMv2.  It is now easy to share with everyone in the PMO, a Portfolio or Program, and even across the entire PPM organization.  Have a great technology or process improvement?  Why not share it and see how big of an impact it can really make!

Social PM

Our goal for PPMv2 was to create a solution to make the entire Project Management process simple to use, flexible to meet your unique needs, and collaborative to unlock the power of teams.  While we have many great new features like a web 2.0 interface, web-based Gantt scheduling component and improved visibility through dynamic dashboards, the heart of our new solution is the people element.  As you get to know PPMv2 you will see that each element is designed to facilitate visibility by team members, not only of hard core project management items, but also visibility into the items that don’t fit into a fixed structure.  Let us know what you think of bringing the social element into the realm of PPM!  We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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