21 January 2009

The confluence of PM and KM

I have been studying informally for the CAPM exam recently and while doing so have been aware that while the PMBOK Guide discusses a "Project Management Information System", the technologies involved in this are less well described.

Last week I put a cal out on ActKM for those interested in joint developing a set of Project Management templates to be used in a wiki and I am now putting the call out here too.

There are a few reasons I think wikis would be a good tool to manage projects:
  1. In small businesses especially, the large PM tools are way too expensive. Using Creative Commons we will make these templates free for anyone to download. All you need is a wiki to install them on.
  2. Project Managers in general seem to be more of the box ticking type than the Barak Obama social types. As Sonal Shah points out in this nice blog post, Project Managers need to communicate more.
  3. Many of the documents are of a collaborative nature anyway. Stakeholders especially can benefit as a recursive process of creation for the requirements document tends to jog the mind and uncover needs in respond to other stakeholders points. erfect when stakeholders are on different continents or cannot meet for other reasons.
  4. The social nature of wikis means your team can work collaborative way. It traditional, highly siloed projects, the team members can see what the other parts of the project are up to, and in more modern projects, the Project Manager can encourage collaboration, especially around interface points.
  5. Finally, the visible nature of the wiki means that not just Project Plans and Status Reports, are visible, but also the project process itself. People can see what comes next and make more holistic decisions.
Interested in helping out? We will be using Atlassian Confluence and it will take some time, but if you think you have something to add then fire me an email of comment on this post. I look forward to hearing from you.

7 comments :

matt said...

Nice post Stuart! I work in the Sales Team at Atlassian, specifically focusing on Confluence.

I actually created a FAQ yesterday in our Evaluator Resources space on how Confluence could be used for PM.

If you'd like to some help, Atlassian has a range of partners based in Australia that are equipped to assist you with your specific requirements. You can browse their services listing here.

Again, great post!

Cheers

Matt

(Twitter: @mattnhodges)

micktl said...

Stuart,

Great idea, we have been playing around with some similar ideas in our team wiki (hosted in SocialText), although none of them have gone to the depth your ideas do.

I'm keen to help out where I can.

cheers
mick

Stuart French said...

Thanks guys.

I will go through the Atlassian resources, they look good Matt. Lets touch base when you return from leave.

Good to have you on board Mick.

My ideas so far are to use Wiki Templates for the documents from the PMBOK Framework and then use the page structure of the wiki space itself as the methodology.

What we really need to get started is an Open Source guru to help us set it all up. I'm pretty sure this will need the proper application of creative commons or gnu licensing from the beginning so it remains in the public space.

(P.S. this is all part of Cory Bank's drive to create free KM tools by sharing and collaborating - like we tell everybody else to do!)

Sim said...

Hi Stuart,

That's a great idea.
I have used Confluence as a project management tool in my ex-company and is actually in the midst of developing the same thing myself.

I think having a set of wiki templates will definitely valuable for all of us pushing for wiki adoption.

I already have a confluence instance up and running. We could use it.

Sim said...

Can you email me at huasoon_at_akelesconsulting.com where I can show you what I have done and we can discuss in detail.

Cheers

Stuart French said...

Not sure if you have seen this, but http://www.comindwork.com/ now has an enterprise wiki buildinto their Project Management SaaS product.

Might have to check this out for future reference.

environmentalknowledge said...

Thanks Stuart. I have been using the Screwturn wiki for managing my business projects but have just got onto BaseCamp http://www.basecamphq.com and quite frankly think its awesome. They also have a great adoption strategy which you can read about in their online book accessible from the same site

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