Lets Visualize Peoples Influence on Projects

In 2009 we are living in uncertain times.  Still, we need to find competitive advantages.  Continuous innovation is a tool to create knowledge.  We as Project Managers need to understand people and their relationship to success.

People are connected to Project Success

People are connected to Project Success

Specifically, we need to understand the people that are connected and critical.   The problems we face is complexity.  Complicated projects span countries, time zones and cultures.  As Project Managers we need to set a goal to expand our knowledge.  We have to develop an artifact that dynamically communicates peoples hidden relationships in an explicit visual image. How can we do this?  We are going to explore.  First, where is mankind in terms of social networking? Second, visualizing social networks.  Finally, what would be the ideal solution for Project Managers.

Social Networking is growing.

"Rapid Growth in Soical Networks"

"Rapid Growth in Soical Networks"

Why?  The BBC reports that each friend you have increases your earnings by 2%.  Perhaps, another reason is related to some research completed in December 2008.  “Dynamic spread of happiness in a large network“.    The conclusion is not very surprising.  Peoples happiness depends on the happiness of whom they are connected to. Sounds pretty good!  An intangible quality of a successful project is the happiness of the people working on it.  If we look at the social aspects of game success in World of Warcraft, a study shows that it is not the quantity of people that determine winning.  Online winners are more likely related to their interconnectedness or closeness.

Cirlce of Friends

Cirlce of Friends

From the February 26th Economist Anthropological studies show that people can only mange about 150 friends.  Internal Facebook studies show that the most active stable groups are remarkably small.  Men will leave comments with about 17 people and women about 26.  We already know this we usually say something like “small circle of friends”.   Think about it…. If you are a man, are there 15 people you stay in close touch with?  For a women, do you have more than 25 close friends? Tight small groups of people are the most stable. Information spreads through our networks.  Some people think that the information will spread similar to a virus.  It will take some time to build and than once it reaches the tipping point it will accelerate until it peaks and then retrace.  The way these ideas spread are related to the type of person.  Gladwell describes 3 types of people.  “Connectors are the people who “link us up with the world … people with a special gift for bringing the world together.”  Mavens are “information specialists”, or “people we rely upon to connect us with new information.”  Salesmen are “persuaders”, charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills.” This is related to recent information how Google cancels an incubation project.  The New York Times interview of  Jeff Hueber “When evaluating nascent projects, Google takes a hard look at interest – and in these cases, the interest simply wasn’t there… They were not especially popular with customers; they had difficulty attracting Google employees to develop them.” So we can see that.  Success is related to connections;  the critical core connections, the quality of those connections and the interest of the ideas of those connections.  If we can focus our management efforts on people who can connect and spread good information we can be more successful. More to Follow……

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