Social Media Platforms for Construction Project Management
There is a need for all stakeholders of building process to interact efficiently and effectively. However, this is not always possible due to the different knowledge background and complexity of building projects. Technologies transfer communication, leadership, democratic interaction, teamwork, social engagement and responsibility away from the instructors to the participants. Implementing social network-enabled communication can move design and production beyond its conventional realm and enables stakeholders to develop architectural, management and production knowledge that is embedded into a community of experts with their expertise both online and offline. Current media tools that are available need to be adopted and optimized to match the specific tasks of project delivery. The current single communication tools don’t allow the inclusion of all stakeholders and don’t support a social and collaborative project environment. Communication management is a crucial knowledge area for Project Managers (PMs) who are expected to effectively and efficiently communicate the four constraints (Scope, Time, Cost, Quality) of a project to other stakeholders. This thesis explores the concept of using social media (SM) for construction project management (CPM) and in supporting collaboration within construction project teams. This thesis employs the research methods of a Literature Review, Survey, and a Software Review to achieve this. The literature review identified that there was a knowledge gap regarding SM use by PMs. While construction industry professionals recognised a need for SM, there were no strategies in place to capitalise on SM use. Current tools being used by construction PMs as identified in this thesis include, web-based project management software (WPMS) and Social Software/Groupware. Both tools are used to support core PM processes while also providing a collaborative electronic workspace on the Internet. The emergence of Project Management 2.0 (PM 2.0) and Social Project Management (SPM) methodology/Software as a response to Web 2.0, has seen the adaptation of the social networking (SN) and the ‘re-tweet’ paradigm in project communities. Currently there are SPM software available which is being largely used by PMs in the information technology (IT) industry. A Survey which was administered online to industry professionals, showed that survey respondents while dubious about the use of SM for project related work were interested in using software that integrated more SM-like features. The survey further identified that survey respondents were not aware of SPM software but that they were using some semblance of Social software which were akin to SPM. The dissertation presented a review of current state-of-the-art SPM software and was also used to identify core PM features. In addition to this, ten SPM software were reviewed for features that were fundamentally Web 2.0/ SM based. The findings from the software review and literature review is finally culminated in the outline of the conceptual SPM software-Gantt 2.0 which is intended for CPM.