What impact does modern communication have on project management?
September 26, 2011
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Yesterday, I was looking at the PRINCE2 manual for a highlight report content for a project. As I was doing my reading, I found myself going through some other topics before I got to the specific topic I was looking for. Suddenly, occurred to me that I could just use a Google search to quicken the process. That got me thinking … how does technology and modern communication methods impact project management practices?
I am one that prefers reading books as a way of learning. A good thing about books is that you don’t necessarily find what you are looking for at the first glance. In search of highlight report content, I ended up reading some other materials within the manual. This is knowledge I gained or refreshed, which I did not set out to. Using a search engine like Google would have meant I would never had the reason to learn what I did. Downside is that it took me longer to get to my objective. Depending on your point of view, this could be a good thing or bad.
The odds are if you have found this blog post, you have come through a search engine. What that opens up is access to a range of opinion that was previously only accessible through your professional networking. In the case of new project managers it was a significant barrier to professional development. While you now have a significant resource pool, it is difficult to verify the track records of the bloggers. The key here is to use your own judgement. Do not take any particular opinion as gospel.
New media has also changed the mindset of consumers. People no longer expect to be fed information. Projects are much more collaborative and agile than ever before. People need to feel they are engaged, rather than being dictated to. This enables opportunities for a lot of delegation of responsibilities to ensure appropriate handling of project execution. This however has introduced additional challenges in monitoring and control. At the same time, it makes it much more practical to manage the projects through real time logging and tracking of issues and risks.
Like all other aspects of life, new communication media is changing the way we manage projects. People do things differently now than they used to previously. The pace of change is quicker now than ever before. As project managers, we manage projects and by extension people within them, to get a successful outcome. We need to be adaptable to ensure we run with the times.
It is neither better nor worse … it is just different.