Project Management 3.0

It seems it became a fashion these days to put version numbers to everything. When I saw Bas de Baar‘s post with the title Project Management 3.0 I was first shocked. Wow, how could I miss the all those versions?

But in a while, after reading his post and the article he cites I started to realize that there is nothing new under the sun – it’s just a new, fashion name for the thing we already know.

Obviously, the version numbers 1.0 and 2.0 were created by the agilists. To put it roughly, PM 1.0 refers to the classic or heavy methodologies in project management. They focus on large projects, large budgets and big teams. Ugly Gantt charts, many stakeholders, horizon and beyond timelines and (note!) expected failure! PM2.0 respectively has only positive characteristics: small teams, made of smart and motivated people (does it mean that the large projects are performed by dumb people?), fast pace, feedback, responsiveness, etc.

It smells like a religious war from very far and isn’t worth mentioning. As Glen Alleman says in his blog Herding Cats, if you want to show the advantages of the agile methodologies you shouldn’t compare it to Waterfall because “Waterfall is dead, dead, dead“. The modern version of the “classic” PM approaches like PMBOK and Prince2 also embrace change and calling them “heavy” or “rusty” is not relevant anymore.

What caught Bas’s (and mine) attention is the idea of “Social Project Management”. As he states:

The Project Management style, and the supporting tools have to be “social”, and now more then ever. The project landscape is turning mobile, multi-cultural, 24×7, highly distributed and in ever flux.

But this situation will increase the risk of getting into some social “booby” traps and he points out the three most important ones:

  1. Communication trap: proper understanding of what the other stakeholders need in the project;
  2. Trust trap: letting go of control and hoping people still do what they are supposed to do;
  3. Isolation trap: no sense of belonging to the project through geographical, cultural and timezone differences.

This is the Project Management 3.0 and the real challenge for it will be a social one. According to Bas, this is the place were social software can help a lot. Not only in collaboration but more in building a sense of community, enhance trust and stimulate open communication.

You can read his entire post here.

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