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Updating to Project Management 2.0

Project Management 2.0 – The tools that Web 2.0 offers nowadays for Project Management has merged with a new concept. Of course Project Management 2.0 is not a new methodology for Project Management, but it adds new approaches that change how traditional project management is performed. 

Project Management Low Cost

These tools include communities for getting help (such as ProjectManagers.org, blogs, social networks, wikis, etc). All of these are powerful channels that  Web 2.0 offers us for sharing ideas and collaborating on work. These technologies are in many cases low-cost or totallyfree, so there are no excuses for not incorporating them in our best practices

Project Management Distributed Teams

Project Management 2.0 has become especially relevant for distributed teams, so that they find in these tools the glue that joins them in more effective and efficient Project Management practices.

Online Folow Up Meetings

Project Management 2.0 provides the capabilities to perform online follow up meetings and by helping to save a lot of money in travel expenses and hours wasted in transit. By having technology that permits sharing the progress status of our Projects, write or comment, coordinate corrective actions, agree to changes, etc. all inside a social media based website, we can do so much more than others in our profession 20 years ago.

Decentralized Project Management

In traditional Project Management, the Project Manager commands and controls the project. In Project Management 2.0 the Project Manager becomes more like a Facilitator and Leader, but it also permits the Team take responsibility of the project and make decisions so that management gets decentralized.

Bottom-Up Project Management Planning

Another difference is in the approach of designing and building product deliverables. Project Management 2.0 is also based on Agile approaches and that includes developing fast shippable products. Web 2.0 permits people to communicate very quickly, and actions are expected to be fast and speedy. Customer representatives can ask for new change requirements and the Project Team needs to work Agile; therefore, this results in Bottom-Up Planning instead of the traditional Top-Down Planning.

Collaborative Project Management Environment

Technology in Web 2.0 is open to all individuals. Traditional tools were built along the lines of a very restrictive permissions profile scheme. Each individual had a role and was only permitted to view and execute what was expected for his/her position in the project/company. On the other hand, Project Management 2.0 is not based on hierarchical models, instead all members join the same spaces for interaction and share a collaborate environment.

Project Management Structures Based on Leadership

This also means that traditional management was based on structures based on power, whereas in Project  Management 2.0 structures are based on leadership.

Sharing the Project Plan without Restrictions

In traditional Project Management, only a few people have had access to the Project Plan; team members were only asked to perform their work-packages or activities/tasks. Project Management 2.0 relies on responsibility of the whole team for the project results. That is, if all the Team is responsible for the Project, then all the team shares the Project Plan without restrictions

Also Project Management 2.0 permits sharing and better reporting with Customers by providing a more transparent view of our work and building trust with them.

Information Globally Accesible and Live

Traditional Project Management was based on Gantt Charts that were built over local tools (MS Project, OpenProj or similar) and the only way to review progress was by meeting in person. Also, follow up was made by asking the Project Manager for each of the heads of the team members about their progress and consolidating all this information on his Gantt Chart. Now in Project Management 2.0, all this has dramatically changed. Progress information and any other relevant information (change requests, change acceptances, delivery acceptances, etc.) can be updated online. This information is globally accessible and live.

Unlimitted Communications 

In traditional Project Management frameworks, we are taught the communications channel in a project based on the formula N(N-1)/2. Based on this, it is suggested that we limit these communication channels and extensively use the Project Manager as the communicator. In fact, we are told that Project Managers spend 90% of their time communicating.  Well, in Project Management 2.0 this is completely different. All channels are open, and the idea is based on creating the correct spaces for communication. That is, we can use a project blog, a daily scrum meeting, a review, or a retrospective meeting. There are standardized ceremonies for this unlimited communications.

Project Teams Are Cross Functional

Traditional Project Management is based on hierarchies within a project. Having a unit called project, they build more complex structures such as programmes (collections of related projects) or portfolios (different project aligned to achieve business strategies). Also, project teams in traditional projects are standalone with each of them focused on their technical specialties. In Project Management 2.0, there is a holistic approach and organizational change is no longer driven by separate projects. Also inside the project, project teams are cross functional by having team members with different expertise necessary to join their capabilities into useful products.

Low-Tech and High-Touch

Also support tools for implementing project management are different. Traditional Project Management, along the years, built more complex management tools with hundreds of functionalities that required intensive project management efforts – instead of minimizing it like they were supposed to. Project Management 2.0 is based in the principle of “low-tech and high-touch”. While keeping in mind that most projects are performed in front of computers, project management should be something special. Why not have fun by sharing ideas, using colorful post-its or social networks to report our project status, discussing the best solutions for issues, and share with the whole team our burn-down chart?

Flexibility with the Tools

In traditional Project Management, the tools are also a requirement. Someone (the Project Manager or a PMO) established how project information must to be reported. Also there was a Communications Plan that stated this. In Project Management 2.0, there is flexibility with the tools. They are provided to help project management; if anyone has a better idea in the middle of the project which others think can be useful, they use it. The real purpose of a project is not the tools, but building quality products.
 
Are you taking advantage of Project Management 2.0?

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