Many people use the terms Social Project Management(SPM) and Project Management 2.0 (PM2.0) interchangeably. Heck, even wikipedia thinks they’re the same thing, but it’s wrong. While PM 2.0 focused primarily on enabling online collaboration within the team, and to a lesser extent with providing dashboards for reporting, and other basic project management automation, SPM’s focus is fundamentally different. SPM is focused on connecting the project to the wider social network of an organization or web of organizations to both manage the project and to manage exceptions. PM2.0 platforms rarely are connected to a wider social network and generally are closed to non-team members.
Because Deloitte stresses the need for social software to manage exceptions, let’s compare SPM and PM2.0 using Deloitte’s framework:
First, social business software helps identify expertise, either via directly querying the social network or by identifying the creators of valuable content.
- PM2.0 – Most PM2.0 platforms are hosted externally, not integrated with the enterprise systems of a company, and access is supplied only to team members.
- SPM – Social project management embeds project management into the social platform of the organization. It allows for project issues to be “broadcast” to the entire social network of the team, rather than being confined within the project team boundaries. Because of this, important expertise from outside the team can be brought to bear on the team’s issues and opportunities.
Second, social business software breaks down traditional barriers within companies and across value chains. Because communication and conversation more seamlessly and extensively crosses organizational boundaries with the aid of social business software, both the communication and awareness of exceptions are more widely disseminated – in sharp contrast to traditional, team-oriented, direct communication paradigms.
- PM2.0 – Again, because of the fragmented and siloed nature of most PM2.0 platforms, PM2.0 systems reinforce and create boundaries.
- SPM – Social project management enables communication via the microblogging and re-posting paradigms common to today’s social software platforms. By disseminating issues widely, SPM provides a true communication advantage over PM2.0
Third, social business software preserves institutional memory, and because the various institutional memory contexts are now integrated into the social platforms, data is now available that allows organizations to analyze and discover issues and opportunities that were previously hidden..
- PM2.0 – Because PM2.0 systems are many times adopted for projects one at a time, and because even in the same organization multiple PM2.0 platforms may be adopted, institutional memory is replaced by individual memory.
- SPM – Social project management is all about integration into the social platform of the company. SPM stores documents and other project information into the social platform, making it part of the larger institutional memory.
PM 2.0 was a great first step into the realm of web project management systems. However, it was focused on within-team communication and collaboration, and because of this reinforced the team boundary. Social business software is all about breaking down boundaries and managing exceptions. If your project management system cannot help you to manage exceptions, it’s not a social project management system. If you’re not managing exceptions, you’re falling behind on your projects.