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Can Project Management be Crowd Sourced?

Posted by Anshoom Jain on April 14, 2016


Can_Project_Management_be_Crowd_Sourced.png*This blog post was updated on January 3, 2017 due to additional content.

One would hardly believe that Project Management can be crowd sourced. After all Project Management is all about associating a resource to a task, and tracking & communicating the progress, whereas in crowd sourcing the resources may not even be known, let alone project managers having any control over them.

That is where the differences end because ultimately the project manager controls the outcome. Furthermore, leveraging the concepts of social media, communication is instantaneously available to all stakeholders. 

Welcome to the world of “Crowd Management” – Crowd Sourced Project Management for Cloud implementations.


Think and Execute Projects Differently

 

1. Replace Time-based Schedules with Event-based Schedules

Most time-based schedules start out by having a detailed list of tasks, assigning resources and having duration and predecessor defined. Predecessors are often forced to adhere to overall expectations of the timeline.

Event-based schedules (called meeting calendar) break the entire project down to driving events. Events when completed in totality, triggers the start of next event. This replaces the time schedule and in turn inherently adjusts to the competing priorities that the customer project team has thus ensured higher quality and a better understanding of the system.

Effectively, it now starts to embrace the concepts of Organization Change Management, to result in higher adoption rate.


2. Replace Dedicated Resources with Pooled Resources

While MS Project can handle resource pool, individual resources still need to be assigned. This is where the concept of crowd sourcing comes in. Events are assigned to a resource pool with underlying expectations on the outcome. Individual resources, (depending upon the available capacity) within the pool can pick up the cases  and execute on them. (See Point # 3)


3. Replace Tasks with Cases

Tasks are well defined and almost a definitive effort can be associated with them. This makes tracking easy.

In Cloud implementations there could be 2-3 product releases every year so how do you plan and track the numerous queries/questions that the client asks with regards to the software having a bearing on the system design itself. These questions often require collaborative research effort and effort estimates can’t be easily determined. This can be handled via cases (in addition to handling tasks) and can be crowd sourced within a resource pool.


4. Replace Email Based Communication with Social Media Based Communication

If you track your emails/communications related to projects you wouldn’t be surprised that you probably exchange 1000 emails/IMs/Phone calls per month.

For a project manager, a large portion of these are simple follow-ups. That translates to about 50 hours per month of non-productive work. A platform drive project execution based on crowd sourcing information model can eliminate this waste.


5. Replace Project Teams with Communities & Extend the Communities Further

In a project or matrix organization, the responsibility of developing the team invariably rests with the functional/line manager. The project manager can best negotiate for a team member with the right level of skill set which, unfortunately, can’t be objectively measured. Through crowd sourcing, project managers can access the best of talent and integrate the knowledge management as part of project management. This knowledge base when extended to clients can cut down the requests on System Integrators while providing a more satisfying experience for the client since the knowledge base is available on-demand and in a cost efficient manner.


6. Replace forced-learning with self-learning

Have you ever had just one Dorito chip? Probably not. So do you think people will not be self-motivated to learn by studying relevant material in a project execution platform which is integrated with a knowledge management system? What will that do to the next project? I'm guessing smiles all the way!


7. Replace Project Post-mortem with Continuous Improvement

Project managers and organizations religiously perform lesson learned activities as part of project closure. It serves its purpose but does very little for the project that is in-flight. Oracle Cloud implementations are fast paced and customers often implement one module at a time. Thus, continuous improvement in the form of making project management more dynamic in terms of iterations and incorporating continuous testing philosophy goes a long way towards achieving the business objectives with associated cost efficiencies.


As Cloud HCM and Cloud ERP penetrate deeper and deeper into mid-size, small-size and micro-size customer segments, the traditional approach needs to give way to new way of thinking and execution because of various factors. Factors such clients experience with System Integrators, cost sensitivity, overall maturity in project management, and most important of all, time availability for projects in addition to day to day operational tasks. Replacing disjointed project management systems with integrated cloud-based execution infrastructure is fast becoming a critical success factor for System Integrators.

I conclude by tweaking Sony PlayStation’s campaign slogan “Live in Your World, Play in Ours”  to say
“If you implement Cloud then live in Cloud”


Feel free to reach out if you have any questions around Oracle Cloud within Human Resources or check out the following blog  post, "5 Misconceptions About Global HR Implementations."

Topics: HCM, ERP, Project Management, .HR, Organizational Change Management, .IT, Cloud Implementations, Crowd Sourcing

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