This week it was my privilege to be interviewed by Jerry Ihejirika, a project management blogger from Nigeria in his new series called “Project Management for Africa”.
According to Jerry I’m one of the most active African Project Managers on Twitter (@virtualpm) and for that reason as well as my passion for project management, he chose me to interview, using Twitter. I thought it was an innovative medium to use to conduct the interview and a good example of the power of social media to promote our profession.
Below is an extract of the interview that I wanted to share with my community too.
When exactly did you venture into project management and what informed your decision?
I’ve been in the project management profession since 1999. I’m an accidental Project Manager, and I love working with teams and the satisfaction of achieving goals.
As someone who is passionate about project management, what’s the best project management advice you’ve ever received?
From both advice and my experiences: “Always be planning, always be communicating, and always build relationships.”
What’s the level of awareness of project management in South Africa?
In South Africa, there is a growing level of awareness and appreciation of project management as a professional designation. We have a Body called SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) which has officially recognised project management as a professional designation with career path. It’s also required by corporate employers for a Project Manager to have a PMP (certified) status, especially when applying for senior roles.
Is there any recognized national PM body in South Africa to help promote and advance Project Management in the country?
Yes, Project Management South Africa, or PMSA, representing project management practitioners across all sectors. They have monthly meetings in major cities, a biennial national conference, national printed magazine; we also have PMI chapters whose members meet monthly.
You’re one of the advocates of social media in project management. Do you think social media has a role to play in project management?
Yes, and for different reasons. Some of the benefits of social media in project management include improved collaboration, cost savings, best practice sharing, and networking.
How do you think social media can be utilized to promote and advance project management in Africa?
Through our project management blogs; sharing of project success stories; creating LinkedIn interest groups; leveraging Twitter, podcasts, videos, Google+, and PM Flashblog initiatives.
How would you rate the level of awareness of project management in Africa?
Project management as a designation will contribute to the development of career paths; and also through promoting continuous professional development. In South Africa, we have a national conference by end September with theme: Growing project management in Africa. (See events page for more details.)
Wow, that’s good, and there’s also a national conference in Nigeria by September tagged “Project Management Development in Nigeria” being organized by ProMaCon.
That’s good for raising the awareness of value of project management in Africa.
What advice would you give to a Project Manager who’s planning on incorporating social media in his/her project management profession?
For use of social media on projects, you need a social strategy that’s specific to your organisation’s business objectives, challenges, and culture. You also need to have an adaptable, step-by-step, ongoing formula to bring social media into projects. You can also use social media to build your professional project management career by having a strategy with tactics to communicate on each social media channel.
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