The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 188: Enterprise 2.0 Tools for Project Managers (Premium)

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Dennis BrookeThe toolkit for project managers in the area of Enterprise 2.0 (often also called Social Media Project Management Tools) is vast. We have wikis, blogs, networking tools, microblogging, videos, podcasts. It’s a sheer endless list of tools that our project participants suddenly expect us to use and be proficient in on our projects.

But where should you start? How should you start? Which tool is appropriate for which task and (almost more importantly) for which target audience. These are just some of the topics that we touch upon in our 2nd interview with Dennis Brooke on Enterprise 2.0 Tools for Project Managers.

We’ll even look at the questions of “Isn't this whole Enterprise 2.0 /Social Media stuff not simply just a gimmick?” and how do we get people to change and use the tools properly?

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #188. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com, nice to have you with us.

This is a Premium Episode for our Premium paying subscribers only. Thank you very much for your support.

The toolkit for project managers in the area of Enterprise 2.0 often also called Social Media Project Management Tools is vast. We have Wikis, Blogs, Networking tools, microblogging, videos, podcasts; it’s a sheer endless list of tools that our project participants suddenly expect us to use and be proficient in on our projects.

But where should you start? How should you start? Which tool is appropriate for which task and almost more importantly, which tool is appropriate for which target audience? These are just some of the topics that we touch upon with our second interview with Dennis Brooke on Enterprise 2.0 tools for Project Managers.

We’ll even look at the question of: Is this tool Enterprise 2.0/Social Media stuff not just simply a gimmick? And how do we get people to change and use the tools properly?

And now, please follow me to aisle 7 where we have some great project management power tools waiting for you. Enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Dennis Brooke, program manager and speaker.

Cornelius Fichtner: Dennis, welcome back to the program!

Dennis Brooke: Good to be back!

Cornelius Fichtner: So in our first interview, we looked at Enterprise 2.0. So that the history and general project management concepts on how to use it and a few ideas in regards to what it really is and now, we want to jump in to some project management specifics here: How to use project management Enterprise 2.0 tools, what kinds of tools are available, what’s the best use for them. So, there a lot of different tools that fall under Enterprise 2.0 umbrella. How do you differentiate them?

Dennis Brooke: Well, I like to think of them as being in a spectrum and if you think about tools on the left and Wiki is the tool that I think about on the left. A Wiki like Wikipedia is the most common example, has a lot of detail but you don’t necessarily want to update it a lot. And then if you move to the right where you have less detail but more frequency, you have blogs. And a blog is basically just a short bulletin ideally between 500 and 800 words and it’s an update or it’s an article or something of interest but it’s something you might put out every day or if you have a bunch of different people participating, several times a day.

Then you move farther around down to the right where you have even less detail but more frequency, you have things like networking. You might have LinkedIn in this or you can even use Facebook but typically, people who are using networking for business are using LinkedIn or a software like that.

And on the very far right, we have what we call microblogging. When you think of microblogging, what do you think of? Of course, you think about Twitter and congressmen who do inappropriate things. But a microblog is basically 140 characters. It’s kind of a short bulletin but you can link to more lengthy contents. You can link to a blog, you can link to a Wiki or to anything.

So I always think of if I want detail but don’t necessarily want to update a lot, I start with wikis and then I move down the spectrum to blogs, networking and microblogging to have less detail and more frequency.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right, and just a reminder to our listeners, the slide deck that you used to give this presentation at the Puget Sound PMI Chapter is available as a PDF document and we were just looking at I believe that was slide 6: Key Enterprise 2.0 Elements. I should probably said this before but if you look at the slide now, it will all make sense with wikis on the left and the microblogging on the right.

So let’s take a look at these four items here and let’s talk about appropriate uses for each of these types. And of course appropriate uses not general but appropriate use on a project. So in a project management environment, how would you use a wiki?

Dennis Brooke: So we talked about this a little bit last time. But a wiki is a good place to have a lot of detailed information. And it’s really the primary project team management Enterprise 2.0 tool I use.

So what I’ll do for a project is I’ll create a portal, a project portal, that starts up with a project charter and from there, I will drill down into more detail so I might link to a risk register. I might link to a project schedule. So a wiki has that information that I need to work with there.

Now on top of that, I can do things like I can set up a project glossary so when people run across different languages or different terms that they don’t understand, they can go ahead and they can look there or if they didn’t find the answer, they can go ahead and create that there as well.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right. And I think that’s an important statement that you’ve just made. Wikis are here so that everybody contributes. It’s not just you, the project manager, who puts in information. It’s everybody who contributes to the knowledge that we have about project management in our organization. You may set it up. But once it’s out there, once it’s public so to speak to the project team, everyone contributes, right?

Dennis Brooke: Right! And I would like to say collaboration helps create communications which helps create community. And like you said, the project may set it up or his team may set it up. But you really need to get people to participate because no team is stronger than the individual. You need to bring all the individuals together and that’s what Enterprise 2.0 does.

Cornelius Fichtner: Let’s move from the wiki over to the blog. What would you use a blog for on a project?

Dennis Brooke: Okay, a blog is really a bulletin board. It’s an internal bulletin board and it’s great for things like updates talking about scope, talking about schedule and we also like to put fun stuff. When we’re talking about company, we might talk about company celebrations and we might talk about the company in the news.

And a lot of companies, or a lot of big projects, they will do a newsletter. Well, a problem with the newsletter is it’s a big production, right? You have to write all the articles. You have to get it approved by the executives. By the time the newsletter is done, information is stale, right?

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes!

Dennis Brooke: So the good thing about a blog is instead of putting together a dozen articles, I put out one article a day. And people are busy. They may not have time to read a whole newsletter, but they have time to read a blog article especially if it talks about project successes and mentions their name and talks about what are the great things going on.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay. Next you have here on the list: Networking. And by networking, we’re talking about social networks like Facebook but of course, that social network would be an internal social network. So a Facebook only within your company, right?

 

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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