Interview with The Social Project Manager

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This interview was published for the first time in 2015.
How can you balance the need for collaboration with the governance and control required in a project environment.
Peter Taylor’s new book The Social Project Manager answers this question.
Today, I interview Peter, who you may know as The Lazy project manager.
He’s a well-known figure in the UK project management scene, and a respected author and commentator, especially since he does the same job as me.
I was delighted to be able to speak with him again. So here we are.
Peter Taylor sat with a large pile of books that he had written. You’ve now written another book! How do you find the time to write another book?
As you all know, I’m ‘productively lazy’. Writing is a great activity that I find relaxing and inspiring, especially if it’s something I am passionate about.
You can also add to this the fact that I spend a lot time traveling and being on a plane for hours is a great period for creativity.
Your book is The Social Project Manager. What is social project management?
The results of a team that can benefit from both the structure of formal project administration and the rich online features of today’s online collaboration environment are extremely powerful.
It is a balance of the traditional, authoritative, centralised model and the collaborative, decentralised model.
Social project management is based on the belief that most projects require a structure and governance to be successful. However, the value-add of the associated emergent collaboration, coordination tools, and techniques can be added.
What is a social project manager?
I have seen project managers do what is expected and want to do a great work. They also want to eliminate inefficient practices that they are forced to use every day.
The common access to open information via collaborative’social’ tools allows faster impediment removal as well as higher levels of inter-project activity.
A social project manager is someone who recognizes this and embraces it to the benefit of the project.
This is Peter’s book The Social Project Manager. Social media tools have been around a while. Isn’t it obvious to everyone?
They have been around for a while, I think. However, we are just now beginning to understand what project management can do for their projects and organisations in order to realize the investment potential.
There is still a lot to do, but those who “get it” will have a significant advantage.
I believe we are moving away from social media being a ‘thing in project management and more towards online collaborative tools. Although it is only a terminology change, I believe the distinction is important as it separates what many executives might consider to be a waste of time on social media. What do you think?
This is a link to the maturing of social projects tools on the market, I agree.
This is a maturing market, not a mature one. We are seeing a lot niche players and tools out on the market and a consolidation underway for perhaps the emergence a true enterprise project manager social toolset.
It is also possible that there is a need to be clear about the difference between the personal and business’social worlds. This is a combination personal discipline and guidance from the organisation of use.
Three levels of project social communications are discussed:
Social within Project (that’s all about the project tasks, progress and challenges)
Social about Project (the inter