What project managers can learn from Twitter: Interview with Robert Kelly, #PMChat

Encourage people to tweet: Twitter was promoted at the PMI Global Congress earlier in the yearRobert Kelly, Rob Prinzo and others have begun using Twitter to connect project manager in an unusual way. Robert spoke with me about how they bring project managers together online. And, even better, how you could earn PDUs by hanging around on Twitter! ).
Robert, you use Twitter for project managers to communicate through a Twitter chat. First, please tell me what a twitter chat is.
A Twitter chat is a pre-arranged discussion on Twitter that takes place at a particular time and day each week. There are many variations to Twitter chats, but most are hosted by a host/s. They use a hashtag (#), which allows the community to join the conversation.
Each Twitter chat is unique in its personality and feel. Some chats are more open-ended, while others have a structured agenda and are moderated by the host/s.
OK. Your chat is tagged #PMChat. How does it work?
Rob Prinzo hosts #PMChat and we each take on a role during the week. One person will post a question. The other person will make sure we stay on track. Usually, one question per 15 minutes. The other person will be welcoming people as they join, retweeting comments from the group, and making certain we stay on topic.
If you aren’t sure if you want to participate, you don’t need a Twitter account. Are there other ways for people to get involved if they aren’t comfortable with Twitter?
Some Twitter chats end there, while others go on to other platforms. #PMChat has expanded to include a live radio show that runs for 15 minutes just before the actual Twitter chat. We also have a LinkedIn group and a website. The website serves as a place to post recaps of previous weeks’ chats, guest blog posts on the upcoming topic, and the schedule of topics.
What inspired you to create #PMChat
Rob Prinzo reached out to me about the idea a few months ago. He noticed that there were a few Twitter chats on other topics, but realized project managers didn’t have such an option. I was tired of seeing some of the popular hashtags become one-way information distribution and a lack of collaboration. We saw a gap in the PM community for a collaborative, real-time platform for practitioners to share their best practices and exchange ideas.
There is a shift in the way people learn and in the traditional development models. The project manager who is not a project manager and has to figure it all out on their own has been the hallmark of project management. We saw a real opportunity to allow junior project managers (coordinators and analysts) to participate in discussions with industry thought leaders. This would allow senior practitioners to share their knowledge with experienced PMs from all over the globe and across industries. It is exciting to see #PMChat become the open-source learning module for our discipline.
Can people count learning as part of their professional development if there is a lot of it?
Yes. They can get 1 PDU under Category A for every hour they participate.
What topics are discussed?
We have covered the following topics: Project Management vs. project leadership, Developing a PMO, Developing Requirements and Managing Scope. You can find the complete list, including links to past Pre-Game Radio broadcasts and Twitter chat recaps, on the website.
It sounds great! It sounds great!
Rob and I don’t want this to ever be the Rob & Rob Show. We need the PM community to get involved. We believe there is something to everyone.
You can listen to the #PMChat Pregame Show, which runs for 15 minutes, on Fridays at 11:30-11.45 EST. BlogTalk Radio is available.