Three quarters of PMs See Benefit of Social Media

Over 75% of project professionals feel that social media tools provide the opportunity to improve the way they manage projects, according to a new survey I’ve overseen & compiled. For those who don’t know, I’m the director of project management copywriting firm The Otobos Group and author of the award-winning blog, A Girl’s Guide to Project Management.

The Social Media in a Project Environment Survey 2011 shows how project managers around the world are using social media tools to manage projects and lead teams. Social media was a hot topic for project managers during 2010 and this year shows that interest and experience of using social media tools at work is continuing.

Podcasting is just one social media tool that serves as a great tool for training and professional development.
Podcasting is just one social media tool that serves as a great tool for training and professional development.

This is the second time I’ve run the survey and it is interesting to see the trends against the data from last year. Many senior managers still fail to see the benefits that social media tools used professionally at work can bring. The results provide an insight into how project managers are using social media tools. I believe this means that many workplaces are becoming more aware of the importance of tailoring communication channels to how the recipient wants to receive information. It’s also a sign that the boundaries of work and personal lives are continuing to blur as a result of technology adoption.

Survey highlights:

  • Use of blogs for business purposes has grown 20% since last year.
  • Over 90% of respondents use social media tools to stay in touch with colleagues.
  • Podcasts and video podcasts are among the least used tools. Harrin recommends that managers responsible for coaching and mentoring project teams consider these as they are excellent, low-cost, vehicles for training material and professional development.
  • Over 40% of people said that they are not officially sanctioned to use social media tools at work, but they do so anyway, an increase of 4% from last year. Personally, I believe that IT managers need to wake up to the idea that employees are finding ways to use social media tools at work whether they have been officially sanctioned or not – software installed outside of the official channels could be a security risk.

The full version of the survey results can be downloaded from A Girl’s Guide to Project Management at:


Survey methodology and demographics

  • The survey was carried out online during January and February 2011. There were 181 respondents from 32 countries.
  • There is a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/- 7.28%. (You can be 95% sure that any given answer is within plus or minus 7.28% of what the general population of project management professionals would answer.)
  • Survey demographics:
    • Gender – Male 50%; Female 49%
    • Age – Under 34 32%; 35-49 44%; 50+ 23%; not disclosed 1%

EDITOR’S NOTE: Much of what Elizabeth has found about the growing impact in the PM’s working environ correspond with the responses to the 2011 Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People. The survey, conducted in December and January with findings released this past February, revealed how respondents increasingly found an upside for 2.0 Web tools at work (a majority of 52%). 32% saw the benefit of using some tools for necessary project communication. And for professional networking purposes, 42% of respondents saw benefits from social media tools. It’s very intriguing to realise that in spite of managerial concerns about 2.0 tools, 2 out of 5 project professionals felt it was in their best interest to use such tools anyway. Without question, you’d do well to take a look at her link above and learn more about the social media mores of our profession.

Do you want a copy of The Benchmark Report? Contact us and we’ll let you know how you can get your hands on one.


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