Before there were project portfolio management systems, didn't project managers and team members need to share project status, issues, risks and results more directly with each other through old-fashion conference room meetings, water cooler conversations and email for more distributed teams?
Nowadays, you have to find about these kinds of things through the "official" channel, your friendly neighborhood PPM system. In fact, you have to find out if the project you are working on actually "exists" by consulting with the PPM system. Many companies, including Instantis, have proudly quoted their customers exclaiming "if the project isn't in [insert PPM system brand here], it doesn't exist" as evidence of the successful and broad adoption of the system and the processes it automates.
To be fair to PPM systems, nothing formally or practically exists in an organization anymore unless it's recorded in a system including employees, orders, inventory, pay, warranties and so on. Further, the benefits of PPM systems, especially for distributed environments, in terms of productivity, decision support, visibility and accountability almost always outweigh the costs and any potential negative impact to traditional forms of PM collaboration.
Having said all that, PPM systems -- if they have not outright killed collaboration -- have definitely impacted the way project teams have traditionally collaborated and not necessarily for the better. For example, systems are better at representing the status in "quantitative" terms and the "qualitative" situation captured in human interactions can be lost. Further, human-to-human interaction promotes team cohesion and morale and is better at stimulating stakeholder engagement.
However, a new approach has been emerging for several years now that has the potential to right any potential wrongs of the past and take collaboration in PPM environments to heights never before imagined: social networking.
In fact, the collision of Enterprise PPM and social networking has been inevitable due to the inherently social and collaborative nature of project-centric work. As stated in our last blog post on this topic, this is exciting because this could unleash immediate and compelling business benefits in terms of improved project team and stakeholder planning, communication, collaboration and cohesiveness that can translate directly in to accelerated strategy, program and project execution.
The key to a successful marriage is ensuring social communications are context sensitive and collaboration is optimized for project-intensive environments. That's why we are so excited about Instantis EnterpriseStream™ which is the first and only purpose-built and “seamless” collaboration and social networking capability for PPM practitioners and stakeholders across the enterprise.