Guiding Quote

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Einstein

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Project Managers and Social Media: To tweet or Not to tweet?

Hardly a day goes by without the tabloid press feasting on the latest tweet from some celebrity, sportsman providing a cornucopia of loose talk. This of course gives us plenty of entertainment and, depending on our sensibilities, a sense of outrage at the more expletive laden ones.

However the popularity of social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, et al, does have major implications for project managers. The inability of younger colleagues: Gen X, millenniums, or whatever new grouping the sociologists dream up, to clearly delineate what is confidential and what can be shared is a major risk for PM's. Be it giving away development plans by telling their "friends" what they are working on, or making derogatory comments about clients, co-workers, or us it can create a major problem. They may have an expectation of privacy, but there are no guarantees and once on the web always on the web. Last year's funny but now embarrassing photo of a beer bust or wet T-shirt competition is still out there.

As a project manager you have to establish - if your company hasn't - clear guidelines about what is permissible to mention on social media and what isn't. Prudence dictates that you apply tough guidelines - basically you cannot mention any project related activities on social media. Nothing, Nada, Zllch.

It may make you appear as a curmudgeon, a dinosaur, but it'll save you having to explain away your team's indiscretions.

So the answer to the question "to tweet or not to tweet?" is: "Not on my project, dude!" 

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