Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing a project with Facebook, part of Practical Project Management for Creative Projects.
There is another free alternative, and that's Facebook. Yes, the popular social media platform can be used as a project management tool. Now, those of you under the age of 30 are probably rejoicing because you're now going to go tell your boss that you officially learned you needed to use Facebook at work. But the truth is it can be genuinely useful. Facebook has been around for a long time, and it allows people to collaborate, sharing photos, documents, commenting, videos, thready communication, instant messaging.
In fact, while Facebook was originally solely for socialization, a lot of business gets done on Facebook. When you go to Facebook, you'll probably be overwhelmed by everything happening on the sidebars and all the info. However, what I want to point out is this. Under groups, you can create a new group for a project. You could choose who belongs to the group. Note, it might also suggest other people that you have frequently worked with as suggested members.
You could then choose how to list the group. An Open Group is public for anyone to join, and you definitely don't want that for a project. A Closed Group can be searched for and can be seen, however, you probably want to set it to Secret and what Secret does is makes it extremely difficult for people to find it. Now, you can click here to learn more about the secrecy. When ready, I'll click Create.
You now have to choose an Icon, and this is probably the most social aspect of it. If you don't want to use any of the icons, you could just skip that step. You then have a group. Notice that you could write a post and a post is a simple quick thing added. More importantly though is the ability to add files that people could then access. Now, you could choose from your local computer or even use a Dropbox account to keep things in sync.
This makes it easy for people to collaborate and share documents. You could post photos and video for people to see, you can ask open questions and get people to comment, and as you're working, all of the communication will be threaded. Additionally, if you like, you have the option for chat. And if somebody is online, and you need to communicate with them, you could select them and chat. Note, both their mobile phone will show up if they have the Facebook App installed with push messages or a green dot for people who are online on a computer.
This makes it very easy to communicate. Additionally, for many team members, you can click and find out their contact information and they've likely added you. As you do this, you can customize this, note you could put descriptive information about the project. You could add events like meetings or calling information for conference calls and all of the photos and the files that you share as well as the video will become available.
You probably didn't think of Facebook as a project management tool, but it actually has almost all of the features you need, the ability for people to respond, email notifications, chat, photo sharing, video sharing, privacy settings, documents, and file sharing. The only thing that I don't like about it is that the terms of service often grant Facebook a lot of rights to the contents you post. In a practical sense, this really isn't an issue because these days, most things end up online anyways.
But if terms of service or copyright are a big deal to you, take a look at the solution Basecamp we mentioned earlier. Otherwise, Facebook may be a perfectly viable choice for you to collaborate on a project.
Covering topics like effectively matching your services offered with the project, estimating time, and communicating with clients, Rich shares insights from his many years as a business owner and creative professional.
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- Understanding the benefits of project management
- Investigating outsourcing and partnering opportunities
- Defining project objectives
- Understand the project life cycle
- Scoping the project
- Identifying key roles
- Estimating time
- Managing projects with tools like Facebook or Basecamp
- Building a control cycle
- Managing a team