Good versus Great

My experience to project management is minimal; and the actual idea seems slightly ambiguous. According to, it can be defined as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. To some degree the idea of PM has been informal, and as of recent (mid 20th century) has it began to emerge as a distinct profession. In an article I found on “Good to Great: How to be the best Project Manager” it discusses several areas of topic on how to be more successful.

The first point compares a Good Project Managers actions versus a Great Project Managers actions.

•A Good Project Manager simple takes care of scheduling, communication issues, and production.

•A Great Project Manager is more deeply involved in building the skills of team members. They are also more involved in the tactical execution of the strategic vision of the project.

Lessons to take away from this are that Great Project Managers are more adaptive. They know how to bring the best out from their team. They know when to encourage rather than push.

A second point that the article highlights is the mapping of the project.

•A Good Project Manager will try to stay on task

•A Great Project Manager knows that the track will have unexpected turns and can created real-time solutions.

Lessons to take away are that aside from the top priority of helping customers/products reach success; Great Project Managers are aware that the administrative details of their projects have a higher purpose. Taking the time to look up from the projects plans and schedulers to consider the long-range, strategic outlook.

One of the more important points that the article alludes to is the communication abilities of a good and great Project manager.

•Good Project Managers hire talented teams

•Great Project Managers know their team at hand and know how to utilize each person’s skills at the correct time.

The lesson to take away here is that a great Project Manager will know how to use the talents of each team member on his or her team. Knowing how to get everyone on board with the projects strategic vision will bring out the best work. Effective communication is a key attribute to a Great Project Manager.

These are all key areas that I agree make a Great Project manager. However, I think to get to great you have to be good. You talk with people and you ask how they got into this profession, and often times it seems as if they fell into the position. I think these people start in smaller roles with less responsibilities and take the initiative on certain tasks that may demonstrate or exemplify these characteristics of a good project manager type role.

Socialcast: Facebook for business or an innovative way for collaboration?


Socialcast is cloud-based social network for business that aims at easing communication between employees and vendors. Its platform allows employees to share ideas, documents, videos, and seek for help, when needed.

VMware bought Socialcast in May 2011, when the company was just starting to target business with its goal of easing internal communication. VMWare, with it new update in mid-April, transformed Socialcast from merely a commination tool, to a dream product for any Project Manager.

VMWare, through Socialcast, wants to alter the way businesses access information by improving business processes. The new update is especially important for Project Managers as it integrates multiple different systems, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Sharepoint (document management software), email, and other applications. It creates a centralized workspace that helps Project Manager to keep track of deliverables and critical activities through communication with the team.

The new update also allows for instant messaging feature, called Socialcast Messenger, that is available on the platform as well as on mobile devices. While it is not an innovative feature, the IM keeps employees off using other massagers, such as Google Chat, and instead, keeps the communication centralized. Socialcast also allows employees to post updates, such a new security policy, and lets others in the company to comment on the post.

DePaul IT department, at which I am currently employed in as a Help Desk Analyst, uses similar features that Socialcast provides. We have a database, called DePaul University Knowledgebase or the “Wiki,” where specialists from different IT teams post documents and articles on various topics. This is especially helpful for my team because it aids in troubleshooting a technical problem. There are documents ranging from security polices to instructions on how to install various programs, such as SPSS, on DePaul machines. The Knowledgebase is especially useful for new employees, as they are not familiar with DePaul technology policies.

Socialcast Broadcast. Does this look like a Facebook wall?

We also use internal instant messaging to aid in communication between different teams. I can communicate with my supervisor instantly without the hassle of e-mails. I personally find the IM and the Knowledgebase very useful, as I don’t need to get away from my desk and take time from others to ask questions that can be otherwise answered with a support document.

While Socialcast is useful for employees to familiarize themselves with the company’s policies and seek help, how much does it look to you like Facebook, but just for business? Even the platform of Socialcast looks very much alike the Facebook wall. The idea of Socialcast new update is to centralize the workspace and minimize e-mail communication, or even eliminate meetings. Has the way we communicate changed so drastically that we no longer seek face-to-face interaction even in the workplace? What do you think of the new Project Management update to Socialcast?




Socialcast Website

VMware Adds Project Management, Secure IM to Socialcast Platform By Thor Olavsrud. April 18, 2013. 

VMware Updates SocialCast With Private Messaging By Chris Preimesberger. April 22, 2013.