Web 2.0 is changing the way stakeholders interact and work together within the project team and in the wider community around the project and the organization. Social networking, instant messaging and collaboration tools are overwhelming traditional organization charts, hierarchies and management structures.
Here are a few examples of how things might change:
Building and maintaining relationships will change. People add their uniquely human value in non-routine processes and creativity and organizations will increasingly use automation or "self-service" systems for the majority of routine activities. There will need to be a balance between pure efficiency (which is often appreciated) and developing meaningful relationships with stakeholders through human interaction.
Weak links and extended networks let people pick up information from people who know the people they know. Project managers will need to learn to navigate their personal, professional and social networks to exploit these strong and weak links for the benefit of their project.
Work swarming is characterized by a flurry of collective activity by anyone available and able to add value. Using weak links, swarms form quickly, attack a problem or opportunity, and then dissipate. The phenomenon is powerful but not controllable in any traditional sense.
Informal groups outside the direct control of the organization often use social media to impact the success or failure of a project. Smart project managers will learn how to live in a social environment they can only partially influence.
Virtual environments will become the workplace. People will interact with each other and the virtual environment to reshape the world they're looking at through simulation and experimentation.
The challenge facing organizations and project managers is adapting to this environment to obtain the potential benefits for the project, the team and the organization. They must simultaneously maintain appropriate levels of governance and remain focused on the project objectives.
Individuals will also need support to manage the complexity created by overlapping demands. Forcing individuals to operate in an over-stimulated state will be detrimental to the person and their performance on the project team.
How is Web 2.0 affecting your stakeholder management?