Managing Social Communications | Project Management Tips || Project Management, Collaboration and Knowledge Management Blog | Future Knowledge Management |

"We’ve all seen business stakeholders on their smart phones in meetings or sponsors who whip out their iPads in project board meetings. But is this really productive? And do project managers need to be in on it too?

In a new book released in September, The Handbook of People in Project Management, I explore what social communications are and how project managers can tap into social communications to improve the collaboration on their projects. Here’s a brief introduction to social communications in a project environment.

Introducing social communications

Humans are sociable creatures, and we’ve been finding ways to interact with each other for thousands of years. In that respect, social communication is not new. However, the tools in use this century make a big difference to the way in which we can communicate and collaborate with others.

Social communications are exactly that – communicating and collaborating with purpose. In a work environment it’s not about sharing funny pictures of cats or telling the world what you had for lunch. It’s about using web-enabled technology to get things done more effectively, tapping into the way people are running their lives outside of your project team.

Ultimately, for project management professionals, it’s about doing things the way that other people are doing them and being easy to do business with. A project manager who insists on monthly status updates on a complicated slide template is not going to be popular with stakeholders who can get real-time information that displays clearly on their smart phone screens on any other topic except your project."

(This is an edited excerpt, reprinted by permission of the publishers from ‘Managing Social Communications’ in The Gower Handbook of People in Project Management, edited by Dennis Lock and Lindsay Scott (Farnham, Gower, 2013)."