This post is the first in a series of questions that were brought up at the APM PMO SIG conference in October 2015
In the future will status reports be tweeted?
The immediate gut feeling is no, but that is based on the openness of Twitter, rather than the concept behind it.
If you think for a bit longer about this and ask yourself a question why not, then you come up with a different answer, or at least a different reason, I am going to go with ‘sort of’
What do I mean by that? Well I don’t think that any company is going to use Twitter to announce to the world that there project is going on, let alone the status. However one of the things that Twitter brings is brevity. How many people have seen the reports that go up to the executive board within the company? They are normally presented via PowerPoint, which gives enough room for about 140 characters worth of text to say what is going on in the project at that point. Compare that with some progress reports I have read which take over half of a page of A3 not to say anything. Which one is easier to read?
I like the idea to using #tags to denote what is going on with the project. A series of tags such as #deadlock or #breakthough or #hardwork or #signoff may tell the person reading the project more about the project than 140 words may do.
Although I like the brevity that tweeting could bring, where I think the problem comes is the politics. If you were to tweet, even in a closed group, the status of the project and the first thing that a senior manager reads is #broken then you will have problems as the senior manager comes into ‘help’ and suddenly you are distracted from running to project to sort out what the senior manager wants. Or you have the issue that the senior manager hasn’t read their Twitter feed, but one of their colleagues has. This means that senior manager then feels on the back foot and wants to know why the project hasn’t told them first.
In answer to the question I don’t think that you can tweet progress, but you can apply some of the techniques into your progress reporting. Perhaps this is one way of transitioning new project managers into the profession. By getting some new techniques into an age old problem.
It would be good to hear your thoughts.