Keeping up: Steps in a positive direction

This is the final part of a series of four on project management in the 21st century.
I’m seeing a shift to work in a more 21st-century way. Many recruiters now place more emphasis on people who have emotional intelligence (read more here) than technical competence. PMI has established a New Media Council to improve communication with members and non-members all over the world. BCS has a Social Media Executive. Soft skills are featured in frameworks and methods like PMBOK or the APM Body of Knowledge. TSO published a series of three books titled “Focus on Skills” earlier in the year.
All the “new ways of working tools” I reviewed last week are communication tools. We need people who are able to communicate well and open to business change in order to get the best out of our project team.
Understanding business change is key to building good working relationships with people who work in a different way to you. Let me show you an example of how stakeholders can be more forward-thinking when adopting new business practices.
Recently, I was speaking to Hal Malcomber and he shared with me a story about an exchange with a member of his project team. It was a construction project and he was speaking to one of the workers. One member of the team wanted to send updates via Twitter. He would complete a task and then tweet the status to the project manager.
It was a great idea to use a technique that the team member was familiar with and would be easy to use. The team member found it easy, and so did the project manager. There was no need to twist arms in order to get weekly status reports. They considered interfacing Twitter’s feed with the project software to automatically get the updates. It was impossible to do, but there are tools that accept Twitter updates, such as Basecamp.
These new methods of working are popular. These new ways of working should be adopted by us all. We should also update our project management methods to reflect how other people work. This will improve our results as well as our relationships.
Did you miss the previous articles? You can catch up here
Part 1: Aligning project Management to Real Business Part 2: Responding To Business Challenges Part 3: New Ways of Working