Can't do face-to-face. I understand. We work programs that have dispersed teams. It's part of the modern world. The teams are dispersed across town and across the globe. But in the end...
Project communication is NOT done through the narrow pipe of a 128 character half duplex ASCII character set messaging system.
Think of twitter as an ASR33 Teletype machine shrunk to fit in your hand.
To handle this problem of dispersed teams and their need to interact, is first to partition the problem across boundaries with minimal coupling. And to maximize the cohesion of the parts that have been partitioned. This is a fundamental paradigm of good software, hardware, and process design.
- Remove as much of the coupling as possible, this isolates the dependencies between locales. It also linearizes the flow of work. allow value to always be increasing with the minimum of sunk cost for rework and "do overs."
- Define a clear interface with exchange protocols that deliver 100% reliable items across the boundary
- Define a higher level process flow to assure value continues to move upward every time you send the next revision
- Think in terms of "system of systems" for everything other than a trivial problem
As a system engineer, this SoS partitioning is done at the architecture level. There is product architecture, but also Program Architecture. This is the role of the Integrated Master Plan (IMP). Want to talk about the REAL Enterprise 2.0. It's a System of Systems, it's not Web 2.0.
The IMP describes the strategy for the successful completion of the project. It answers questions to the 5 immutable principles of successful project management
- Can we tell where we are going?
- Do we have a path to get to done?
- Do we have everything we need to get to done?
- What’s going to stop us from getting done?
- How do we know we’re making progress toward done?
If you can't answer these questions in some credible manner with the people participating on the project, no cleaver Web 2.0 technology is going to save you.
Stop trying to solve the project management problems with new technology and new processes. No amount of re-analysis is going to improve the situation until you get your hands around those fice immutable principles.
PM 2.0 is going the way of early ERP systems. If I buy an ERP system I'll have better control of my business. It was simply not true. After billions of dollars then consumers of ERP systems finally figure out they needed to get control of the business in the absence of the ERP first. Then the ERP system could provide visibility, efficiencies, and other "incremental" improvements AFTER they had a credible process.
Project Management is not about email, IM, and WEB 2.0, it's about face to face communication around the five immutable principles.