Communication for Project Managers

Project Management Knowledge Areas

Image via Wikipedia

OK you have your first project as PM. There is nowhere to hide, nobody to blame, it is down to you, as we say in Australia “sh*t or bust.

I remember the day I was given my first project, and I mean real project ie tower cranes and unions. I had a mentor at the time and he said once I had delivered the project I should treat myself, and I did. I bought a Tag Heuer watch which I still wear every day. At the time it cost as much as a small car but every time I look at the watch it reminds me of my mentor and how I got my first “real” project under my belt.

I could bleat on about project management, the watch was 16 years ago, but what my current issue is communication and systems. There is  information we store for future use if needed and there is communication which  (I hate to use  IT geek speak) involves workflows.

So what is a workflow and what do we store for the future, workflow is communication that requires response, action, follow-ups and can cost you dollars, storage is what we keep if we have to prove the workflow.

Currently Sharepoint is well used as the storage facility or document repository.

The following quote whose source I have omitted for his personal reasons is seminal:

“In a panel discussion on SharePoint as a social platform, the consensus was that SharePoint contains many of the ingredients of a social application, but by itself doesn’t get you all the way there–not without extensive customization or the addition of a third-party product such as NewsGator Social Sites.”

Unfortunately some misguided IT professional believe Sharepoint can manage workflow as well, and in tandem with being a document repository. They are wrong and out of touch. Project Managers need information in real time and there are many proprietary software packages that will give them the information they need.

I am looking forward to the day when we bury Sharepoint as a workflow engine and linked spreadsheets developed in house to satisfy needs which can be met by software which is already available.

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