One thing that always attracts me is IT 3.0, or social IT features of
cloud-based solutions in project and service delivery management areas.
In this Facebook and Twitter age, where electronic footprints are
omnipresent, one cannot ignore social networking windows which
knowingly or unknowingly become a part of our daily routine. Many
organizations have started embracing these tools with social IT
solutions to streamline communications and enhance productivity. Apart
from standard project management solutions, social IT solutions
integrate people, connect experts across the globe, offer a centralized
platform to express views and opinions, and help display creativity.
How does it help a customer?
Consider an approach that follows agile techniques in project
management which states that individuals and interactions drive
iterations. A group chat during a brainstorming session, whether it is
about a feature specification, design challenge, drastic upgrade or
tools selection, could be of great help. Data can be stored and
referred anytime for review, asynchronous update, and use as a
knowledge base, and this effectively saves a lot of manual effort.
Tweet the workflow requirement, test criteria, and quality
expectation which are frequent during extreme programming phases.
In a managed service environment, business users can ping the
service desk agent and start chatting. Service engineers can facilitate
users to test out solution scenarios or get inputs to reproduce an
incident. A production ticket can be an outcome of these chat
conversations. Business users can discuss emergency changes or critical
incidents in a chat room with their IT staff. Think about capturing all
the communications and attaching them to a single production ticket.
Social media encourages peer-to-peer support – collecting all
relevant inputs from experts around, online sharing of self-help
articles, and sending automatic live updates to impacted stakeholders.
Develop a community and forums to share best practices among
Business users can subscribe feeds for important and relevant
updates in order to keep track of recent events.
direct interaction of business to customer, live feedback
sharing, confrontation, innovative suggestions, and experts’ judgment
add value to the services you offer a customer.
How does it help a project manager?
An IT project manager can also be a beneficiary of all the above
In addition, it makes the scrum master’s road easy and he can
look back to the recorded meetings after every sprint and re-evaluate
the burn-down charts.
Managing a virtual team, where constant interactions are regular
and essential while creating project plan, goals, milestones, team
walkthrough, feedbacks, and change discussion. How about a single
solution that has all the infrastructure set-up like live meeting,
video conferencing, chatting, and live feed to collaborate?
It increases participation and encourages the team to express,
and debate their opinions and views indiscriminately. It also helps to
engage people sitting miles apart by establishing a communication
The other side of social IT:
Although this media of communication makes the world small, it
has some negative impressions too. Hence, it needs to be regularly
monitored by a discussion coordinator or moderator.
In collaborative environments, a discussion forum may not always
maintain the right focus. Similarly each topic may not get the same
attention. Hence, it is essential to keep tracking discussions.
The implementation of an effective communication policy for
professional usage of networking features within a controlled
environment could prevent unwanted incidents.
Any Internet solution with extensive feature collaborations is
likely to impact performance.
(Mr. Atin Roy, PMP, is a senior project manager with Infosys Ltd.)
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