Can we use Facebook to manage projects?

“What about Facebook for project managers?” is a question I’m asked a lot when I talk to people about social media tools for project managers.

As you know, I’m a big believer in the benefits that social media tools can offer project managers. But when I’m asked about Facebook I always say that I don’t think it is a good tool for project managers trying to run projects.

I have always been sceptical about the role that Facebook can play in running projects. I don’t talk about it in my book, Social Media for Project Managers. It’s just not business-y enough.

But it isn’t good enough to have an opinion – I wanted to test out whether or not I was actually right. So I got on Facebook to check.

The project management community on Facebook

A search for ‘project management’ brought up the PMI page which appears to be the most popular, with over 41,900 people ‘liking’ it. I also found The International Community for Project Managers and Projects@Work. These sites, and others like them, had no original content – they simply aggregated content from their ‘normal’ websites and posted it to Facebook.

Facebook does give users the opportunity to comment on articles without going to the organisation’s website, and some of the comments were interesting, although I saw nothing that would make me rate Facebook above an organisation’s own website. I couldn’t find a presence for APM or IPMA.

There are also groups on Facebook, but I found the search results confusing. The results were not alphabetical and I wanted to display the largest groups first so I could see which one would be the best to join. Once I looked into the groups I found the discussions were not recent.

Is it worth it?

If you want to take part in discussions about project management, the discussion groups on LinkedIn are more up-to-date and more active.

The benefit of Facebook is in consolidating your social media experience as a user, and bringing together all your favourite project management reference sources in one place. It would save you time, and it means you don’t have to remember to check every site, as you can see all the updates in one place.

However, this is only useful for networking and reading up on the latest news. It is of no help with actually doing the business of running a project. I still don’t think that Facebook is a tool that project managers can use to manage a project and work collaboratively with a team. Do you think differently?