Don’t Be An Anti-Social Project Manager

Whenever I speak with someone about project management and social media I tend to get one of two reactions. They either see the value right away or they don’t get it at all-dismissing the socialization of project management out of hand. After a few minutes of conversation, their negative attitude seems to boil down to the following two arguments:

1. They are put off by what they consider the trivial nature of current social media like Facebook and Twitter.
2. Democratizing the project management process conflicts with their top-down, command-and-control management style.

Most of the angst about using social networking within the project management process comes from a lack of understanding. I agree with those who suggest that simply incorporating a Twitter-like activity stream or mimicking Facebook isn’t a legitimate strategy for socializing the project management process. If that’s the sum total of your social project management strategy, I don’t believe it will help you accomplish much.

That being said, the workforce today utilizes social media in their daily lives for a number of personal activities, making it an easily recognizable metaphor for making work management processes more accessible. The way the workforce interacts with media today is significantly different than what we were doing 30 years ago. If we can successfully capture the essence of what makes social media work generally, within the work management context, I see the increase in collaboration, communication and visibility a potential productivity boon.

What’s more, Generation X and Y are accustomed to having more control over what they do and when they do it than any generation of workers before them. Furthermore, they have been trained to do their work in collaborative environments and are accustomed to receiving immediate feedback and recognition.

Old-school management concepts like top-down command-and-control are still at the heart of traditional project management methodologies and make it difficult to effectively lead and manage today’s workforce. I believe this paradigm must change if we want to enable the workforce to achieve maximum productivity and perceive what they do as more than “just a job.” I think we need to realize that project managers should no longer “own” project status data, their team members should. Project managers should be expected to look ahead and plan how to overcome obstacles through better communication not increased micromanagement. The more project managers become leaders, and they less they act like drill sergeants, the more successful project teams will become.

What Are the First Steps?

Fortunately, getting started doesn’t necessarily involve any kind of social media tools (although there are many). The most important place to start is with the right frame of mind:

1. Give team members the opportunity to contribute to the creation of time-lines and deliverables. This fosters increased ownership and improves the likelihood that milestones will be met. As mentioned earlier, it should be individual team members who own status information. That’s the only way to make it accurate and reliable, and I like to call it democratizing the process.

2. Provide a means for capturing qualitative information in addition to quantitative information. I look at it like the color commentary on a sports broadcast. There’s a lot more to accurate status information that simply the statistics. Qualitative information gives context to simple red, green, or yellow status indicators. Make it easy for team members to contribute this information and project leaders will have the “real story” when looking at project status. (This is something that social media tools do very well, by the way.)

3. Realize that most people take pride in their work and some occasional recognition is a good thing. Most of the time, it seem like we only hear from the boss is if we’ve done something wrong. One of the reasons that team members don’t update their project status in the PPM software, yet will sometimes spend hours updating status on Twitter or Facebook, is because they get positive feedback from their friends.

Whether or not you determine to use a project management solution that incorporates tools that facilitate these types of behaviors, or you choose to use stand-alone social media tools, is largely up to you. The questions you need to ask include:

1. What will help my team communicate and collaborate?
2. How familiar are they with social media generally?
3. Does it need to collect information into a centralized location for analysis and distribution?

Socializing (and democratizing) the process just makes sense to me. Those closest to the work really do understand it best. And, they should be “enabled” to provide input into time-lines, milestones, and deliverables if project leaders really want accurate information. Does that mean that the project leaders role diminishes? Not in the least. In my opinion, their role is elevated as it evolves into more of a sophisticated leadership role. Project leaders who are able to grasp the vision of relinquishing the arcane notions of managing people with a top-down philosophy are seeing their project teams increase productivity. I hear from people all the time who tell me that this mindset was not only liberating in terms of the decrease in time they spent glued to the computer screen; involving their teams in more of the project planning process increases team member engagement, increased team camaraderie, and improved productivity.

In today’s world, socializing the work management process makes sense. What are you doing to democratize project management and engage your project teams?

Taking Advantage Of Free Studio Management Software

Most studio managers and school administrators certainly need programs and applications that are both reliable and cost-effective. For better results on scheduling, planning, organizing and multi-tasking, they depend on some innovations online to help them manage their own studios without risking anything and spending too much.

With this demand, computer programmers and information technology experts come up with great proposals and ideas to further research and development of existing media, tools and other applications necessary in studio or school management. Some free studio management software require membership, subscription, registration and signing in to get started; others are just downloadable and made readily available for installation in your own computers in the studio or school.

Venturing in the latest and most interactive program online, studio managers and owners take advantage on how they can adhere to the needs, demands and tight competition on both efficiency and effectiveness. One great way is to invest into these studio management software that can provide them quality, maintain and observe standard operating procedures, and meet excellence without overspending or any hassles at all.

On the other light, some studio managers and administrators think that such applications on studio management that can be accessed and acquired online for free are inaccurate, subjective and unreliable. On a personal note, I suggest that if you are skeptical about this thing, you’d better try it first on your own since you won’t be losing or risking anything. All you’ve got to do is to research on your own – educating yourself on its features and basics.

As the market urgent yet useful solution for good business in running your own studio, creative and innovative services are modified and reestablished for more additional features and powerful elements. Some online studio management software, which are for free, are personalized and customized so as to extensively make the tasks and the jobs easier, more convenient and truly effective.

Since business is really making a hit nowadays particularly in terms of providing greater opportunities on financial security, professional growth and genuine stability worldwide, most free studio management programs can now specialize in graphic designs, multimedia, illustrations, videos, tutorials and demonstrations, advertising, research, other correspondences and communications all necessary in studio management, administration and supervision.

Specifically, online applications that are exclusively designed for studio managers and owners take charge in many different administrative tasks such as internal and external communication issues, job cost tracking, timesheets, contract management, organizing, planning, scheduling, billing, receivables, purchase orders and correspondences plus a lot more. As those tasks are accomplished with real convenience, accuracy, effectiveness and quality, these great packages, your studio partners online help you meet excellence and success.

So whatever field or industry your studio is into, whether performing arts, music, academe, digital photography, technology, marketing, advertising and many more, you better find the most sincere, reliable and effective yet free studio management software online and see great results today. Don’t be left behind; take advantage of these innovations at the soonest time possible and take your studio business to the next level. Use your preferred online program today, enjoy each learning experience and attain financial security. Good luck!

Online College Courses: Putting Yourself Through School

Some college students have the benefit of being able to attend traditional classes without the need to work to support themselves. Other students, however, must hold down a part-time or even a full-time job while putting themselves through school. Managing the workload and time commitment of work and school can be challenging and stressful, and this is even truer when you attend a school that does not offer the flexibility of evening and weekend courses. Many students who are putting themselves through school are now turning to online college courses for their education.

Anytime you attend live courses, whether those classes are held during evenings, weekends or daytime hours, you must ensure that your work schedule doesn’t overlap into your school hours. Registering for classes each semester can be a real trick as you try to manage finding the right classes you need at times that won’t interfere with your work schedule. Inevitably, at least one of the classes you need will be filled for the time slot you need, which causes the need to hassle with shuffling work and school hours around. When you attend online college courses, however, you will enjoy the convenience of taking your classes around your own schedule. You don’t have to sign up for a certain time slot, but instead you just need to make sure you find time to do your schoolwork each week. You can even do your schoolwork at different times each week, and this flexibility is a true benefit for busy students who are working to put themselves through school.

There are now dozens of schools around the country today that offer online college courses, and there are accredited online degree programs in a variety of disciplines as well. You can really take the stress and hassle out of earning your degree while you work when you earn your degree online.