Tag Archives: Twitter

Do You Twitter?

twitterI’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately.

I know what you’re thinking….”gee, I wish I had that much time to waste!”

Hear me out.

At first, Twitter seemed to be this scary, worthless time sink. ?I signed up and then my account stood dormant for months before I got enough motivation to check it out out again.

Now, I’ve found out that it can really be a useful way to connect with people…if you know how to use it.

Here’s How I Use Twitter

  • Connect with people I already know
    by carrotcreative via Flickr

    by carrotcreative via Flickr

    I don’t use chat clients at all, so Twitter has served as a pseudo chat ?platform for me to connect with other project managers I already know in little snippets. ?Several Twitter conversations have led to “I’ll send you an email” or “Give me a call and let’s chat about this some more.”

  • Connect with new people – There are many people ?I never ?would have met otherwise. ?There is a “find people” feature on Twitter where you can find people who are interested in the same things as you are. ?I found people this way, and they have found me.
  • Sharing links ?to helpful articles and resources – One of my favorite things do to on twitter is to share and get links to interesting things. ?There are URL shortener services that are free and allow you to put really short hyperlinks in your tweets. ?This allows you to add something interesting or give a good summary for your links. ?I follow a few project management bloggers that I think are really great, and when these folks publish new posts, I tell my followers about them. ?I use a site called TweetLater to automate this process, but I set it up to only post every so often, and again I only post links for reputable sources. ?I’ve actually started using my own Twitter stream as a feed reader….since these blogs are the ones I want to read anyway, I just check what I’ve tweeted and use that as my daily reading list.
  • Re-Tweet – When I see a tweet that is particularly good, I’ll re-tweet it. ?It’s just adding a “RT” to the front of the tweet and copy/pasting it. ?Then you re-send the tweet to your followers. ?Sort of a way for things to go viral (if they are good).
  • Follow Friday – this is a little ritual that someone started somewhere and it became viral. ?Every Friday I take a look at the people who have made helpful contributions to the Twitterverse, or people I know outside of Twitter and who are good people with interesting things to say, and I just use the #followfriday tag with their usernames. ?This tells everyone who follows me that I think these people are worth following. ?It’s like an organic referral system.
  • Clients – Sometimes I use twitter.com, but most of the time I use a desktop client called Seesmic Desktop. ?TweetDeck is another popular desktop client. ?The desktop clients make it easier to block people who are spamming you, filter and search, etc.
  • Direct Messages and Replies – I read ALL of my direct messages and replies.? Sometimes that can take a little time, but I always reply to the ones that are asking a question or need a response.? Like I said before, I’ve met a lot of great people this way and been able to help a lot of people this way too.

Twitter No-No’s:

twitter_pointless

by jmilles via Flickr

Here are some things I’ve figured out myself to not do, or have seen other people do and it makes me upset. ?I’ll give people a shot, but beware if you are doing these things, it’s likely that I will block you. ?That means I’m marking you as spam and slamming the door in your face. ?Sorry but you deserve it!

  • Spam – if I see another “Make thousands of dollars automatically with Twitter!” message I’ll scream. ?Oh, there’s one now. ?AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
  • Links without descriptions – if you are going to put a link out there, give an honest and useful description of what it is you want people to click on. ?Just common sense.
  • Posting too much – most of the time these are companies who are doing some kind of automated posting to Twitter for new jobs, etc. ?If you post 10 tweets within a few seconds of each other, it’s really annoying. ?If I see you so much in my twitter stream that it makes me look closer, usually I find you aren’t really saying anything of value. ?(unfollow)
  • Posting too little – I unfollow people who are not active on Twitter. ?No offense, but I wouldn’t keep calling you if you never answer your phone either. ?Maybe Twitter is not for you, that’s just fine. ?I essentially only follow people who are somewhat active though…why ?would I follow you if you haven’t said a word in over a month?

Use These Tools For Good, Not Evil

I think I do a decent job of using Twitter like one of the good guys, but of course I can’t please everyone. ?If you like project management though, you may want to consider following me on Twitter. ?To me, Twitter is for the things I described above, and for a deeper conversation, I have this blog.

I’m @pmstudent on Twitter.

See you in the Twitterverse!

Social Not Working ?

photo by John.Karakatsanis

photo by John.Karakatsanis

Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Digg, Linked In ! Include to that services like Skype, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk ! What about wikis, blogs, forums, podcasts ?

Uff ! Many are the social networks and many are the possibilities and services offered.

What is the problem ?

The concept of “networking” gained a boost by technology, the called Web 2.0. In this new era it is not enough to surf the web but to participate, to share. Collaboration and community are keywords on the subject.

The down side of it has referred as “Social Not Working”.

According to the Urban Dictionary the term is?referred?as

The practice of spending time unproductively on social-networking websites, especially when one should be working.

What does that mean for Project Management ?

But what does that mean in a project environment when working at the customer site whit a collocated team ?

Some companies take the policy of deny access to any social website and any attempt to do so is a violation of corporate policy. Others have a more liberal view and allow his employees to have free access to social networks.

If you are a Project Manager working for a consulting firm that means that you and your team will much like being monitored not by project performance in general but for individual performance. Most commonly the project team follows the customer policy in this situation.

If a customer policy is not in place it is up to the project manager to establish in cooperation with the customer and project team for the sake of the project and the good team morale.

Inevitable to remember the lack of confidentiality of the social networks which can represent a not affordable?tradeoff?for most of the commercial projects.

The bright side

Social Networks can be valuable tools for any team, specially for the called?new workforce: young workers from early twenties on, those are the tipical users of social toolbox. ?According to the writer Don Tappscot (author of?Wikinomics; Growing up Digital and Grown up Digital) that is the?platform on which they grown up.

Typical?applications of the tools could be :

  • knowledge exchanging
  • research of solutions for common problems?between?projects
  • brainstorming with a broader public than the project team

It is?inevitable?to say that the social networks are a reality for most of the projects and the PM is required to use his communication and negotiation skills to the edge to balance the project objectives with the personal objectives of his team.

What is your experience on the matter ? Share your experience with the community !

source: leonardonogueira.com

Reader Q&A: The WBS and Cost

I wanted to share an email question I received through a Twitter contact of mine and my response.? Feel free to chip in with your own insights!

photo by Tracy O

photo by Tracy O

Question:

I hope you don’t mind me coming to you for advise and help with Project Management. I have this one question which I keep pondering on. In what way would you say that monitoring, planning and controlling project cost with a budget and organizing and planning a project using the WBS help or support one another?

Thanks!

My response:

Glad we connected on Twitter!? In my projects, the WBS is one of the key things that helps me with planning and monitoring costs.? The WBS is a prerequisite.? When I have a WBS, I can look at it and see where I should have charge codes set up for project staff, and where I should be reporting project costs.? Usually there is a specific level of detail that is relevant to various people.? The sponsor may want to see costs at level 3 of the WBS, and I may be interested in a little more detail at level 4, and the other project managers who work with me may be looking at level 5.? You may have specific stakeholders who only care about level 3 cost reporting for a particular element of the project, etc.

When putting estimates together, it’s important to first have a clear idea of what your scope is, and much of that comes from the WBS.? Bucket your basis of estimates this way, schedule, etc.? The iron triangle means that scope, cost, and schedule are integrated.

Monitoring and controlling your projects through status reports, EVM, etc.?? can really only done effectively by keeping in lock-step with your WBS structure.

Add your thoughts by leaving a comment for our reader below!

Lessons Learned in 2008: Web 2.0 Style

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by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

I’m relatively new to Twitter, but I think I’m officially addicted. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people (if you use it correctly!) I decided to ask my “followers” (I call them my “tweeps”!) on Twitter to “tweet” me their own personal top lesson learned in 2008 regarding project management. Here are some of the responses…I’m not going to comment on them in this post, but I would love to start a dialogue in the comments section where you offer your opinion on what they’ve said, and your own lessons learned from last year!


pmstudent: Calling all project managers and project team members! What was your most important lesson learned in 2008?

Lessons Learned

New2_normal
kelvinzhao: 1.The corporate culture should be concerned carefully. 2. To make your plan works, find the right key man.


simon_g: That I have to learn to say ‘no’ to a client if a risk item is too high


vigilant: Your project will only go as well as it’s weakest link


rainaterror: if you successfully pm X# of projects, on time, under budget, improving UX, communicating clearly, you can do anything.


corneliusficht: not to run with scissors?


EddeBu: leaning on suppliers, in such a way that they deliver on time but don’t get annoyed.


ppolsinelli:there is no longer a substantial difference between project management and personal productivity



stacijshelton: Get a good handle on the baseline data for your intended business impact. Some clients have no clue.


JasonBailey: I learned that PMI is useless and that the PMBOK is as outdated as a Model-T.


lech: Don’t do planning with the sponsor [only]. Involve others. Think in products – never actions. Celebrate, celebrate…


NathanaelB: Write the contract as if you expect the other party to screw you over