Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Kids on the Blog



This posting will have some answers...but mostly it's about one question I have for YOU. Yes, I mean YOU. So I am going to want your responses here - in the form of comments.

I chose the cartoon character Richie Rich to represent the PM as the "New Kid on the Blog". I think the PM is a person who - almost by definition - is a change agent. PMs - again, almost by definition - are all about synthesizing and promoting data into knowledge and wisdom. So I see the PM as having a lot to offer. Blogs are all about sharing that knowledge and wisdom. So they're ringing that doorbell bearing gifts. I also thought that the imagery of Richie Rich 'knocking at the door' was symbolic of the opportunities that blogging provides project managers and the organizations in which they work.

PMI.org has an article on the business of blogging. Have a look: http://www.pmi.org/Pages/Blogging_for_Business_Results.aspx

Also, you can find some interesting findings and a presentation from Dennis McDonald on this blog posting.



I think of blogging as giving organizations the opportunity to do what I call real-time lessons learned. So I am hoping to encourage Project Managers to blog their projects. I realize that PMs are busy and cannot be bothered to keep an online diary of what happens on their project on a moment-by-moment basis.

So here is my question - or rather set of questions:

  • Does your organization use blogs within the firewall to share project progress?
  • How do you encourage the PMs to blog?
  • What roadblocks have prevented blogging by PMs?
  • How have you got those roadblocks "outta the way"?
  • What are the results - how has this helped the blogger and your PM community?

Please help here, this is something in which I'm very interested and I am counting on the community of readers to provide some insight.

Thanks in advance for your comments. Yes, YOURS. Come on, now, you KNOW you want to do it...

4 comments:

acmersino said...

Hi Rich, you raise some really good questions in your post. I haven't worked in any organizations that used blogging internally effectively. The closest thing that I saw to that was an internal WIKI which functioned in a similar way to what you described- capturing lessons learned and sharing information.

I do have to wonder though about the effectiveness of blogs for sharing information within the organization. One of the Achilles Heels of many project managers is effective communication of status. If project managers simply took their oft long-winded and mostly non-helpful weekly status reports and posted them as a blog, I think you would quickly give blogging a bad name. In other words, if they simply took something that don't do very effectively (like status reporting) and turned it into a blog, the results would not be surprising.

I hope you do get some more meaningful comments to your blog than mine as I believe there is value in bloggin and I'd love to see some best practices around it.

Keep up the great work Rich.

Cheers!
Anthony Mersino
Emotional Intelligence for PMs
www.EQ4PM.com

Craig Brown said...

Rich

Here I am, a PM Blogger posting to the world wide web, but do I ever blog on the projects I am working on? No.

In fact I generally don’t share my blog with people I work directly with. I think in many organisations where I have worked there is still a culture of fear and paranoia.

People are worries about their ego and their place in the pecking order and no-one wants to be seen to be made a fool of. Of course I would never point at someone and say “look at this silly person” but really people are wary of others except in very high performing teams.

Note that I believe another dimension to this is that I am an independent contractor and so tend not to be part of the local culture.

As for internal blogging; Well, yes I have done, back before blogging was as common as it is today with the help of a very useful database/web guy who used to work on a lot of my tactical projects.

These days I do think the careful management of stakeholders in less than optimised organisations precludes it.

One thing I do think is that a PMO could make a success of a lessons learned blog. That would be a net way of making use of what is probably a vastly underused data repository.

Craig
Better Projects

maltzrich said...

Anthony, Craig,

Thanks to you both for your comments. There will indeed be challenges here, and your comments help keep me attuned to them. I expect them. Since your comments, I just received my first victim, er, um... volunteer, willing to blog her project. So... we begin.

-Rich

Andrew Meyer said...

Hi Rich,

to me, there are two issues with using blogging as a communications tool around PM. One is the issue of anonymity and second is the issue around effort.

The first issue has to do with whether people believe they will get beaten up over something they say on a blog. In this way, blog are no different than any other corporate communication. People will either talk the party line or they will say what they think their managers want to hear.

Second, there is the amount of effort people have to make. Unless there is an incentive strong enough to make someone do something different, its hard to see why they will do more than they need to, especially when they are already busy, or they should be. (unless they are goofing around on a blog site somewhere.... oh wait... that me. Never mind...)

Andy


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