Today’s workforce utilizes social media in their daily lives for a number of personal activities. What’s more, it isn’t just the digital natives that are using social media anymore. The way the workforce interacts with media today is significantly different than what we were doing when I entered the workforce. If we can successfully capture the essence of what makes social media work generally, within a work management context, I see the increase in collaboration, communication and visibility a potential productivity boon.
What’s more, Generation X and Y are accustomed to having more control over what they do and when they do it than any generation of workers before them. They have been trained to do their work in collaborative environments and are accustomed to receiving immediate feedback and recognition.
Old-school management concepts like top-down command-and-control are still at the heart of traditional project management methodologies and make it difficult to effectively lead and manage today’s workforce. I believe this paradigm must change if we want to enable the workforce to achieve maximum productivity and perceive what they do as more than “just a job.”
I think we all need to realize that project managers should no longer “own” project status data — team members should. Project managers should be expected to look ahead and spend their time figuring out how to overcome obstacles through better communication, not increased micromanagement. The more project managers become leaders, and the less they act like drill sergeants, the more successful project teams will become.