What is Social Task Management? STM...is that the best we can do?

We project managers are great at creating and using acronyms.  We have them for every thing and every one. Like most project management professionals (PMPs), I have no idea how they started or where they came from.  After all, I’m no EM or EG (that’s English Major or Etymology Geek for those of you unfamiliar with those particular acronyms).

I have to admit though, that someone stumped me the other day with a new one.  I got an email asking if we were going to use an STM platform for the current project we had on the schedule, and despite having lots of ACSs (Acronym Cheat Sheets) at my disposal, I just couldn’t figure that one out.  I didn’t even have a SWAG as to what that meant.

Well, I couldn’t just admit that to the sender, so after a bit of digging, I realized she meant Social Task Management for her STM.  Well, I guess I am a bit slow on the uptake, but of course that’s what she meant.  Social Task Management is hot right now and trending with a bullet (sorry, old billboard 100 talk from another life).

So just what is Social Task Management, and is it worthy of its own three letter symbol in the lexicon of PMBOK (sorry, you’ll have to look that one up yourself)?

In its simplest form, Social Task Management is how we manage projects today using the latest in cloud based collaboration tools, vs. how we used to manage projects (i.e. sending one task/email back and forth between individuals or groups).

WhatIs.com defines STM as: “a real-time, collaborative software-based approach to business activities that have traditionally been conducted through asynchronous processes such as document sharing and status updates.”

Now that was pretty obvious. I mean, pretty much any PMP, PM or anyone currently half awake and managing a project in 2012, is probably using a version of an STM.  For many of us, these tools have been huge, providing us ways to improve projects, get team buy in and make the process of managing projects, well, just more EOB (easier on the brain).

But S-T-M?  It seems so…boring.  Social Task Management has really caused a paradigm shift.  Doesn’t it deserve a little better acronym?  I think these tools are the equivalent of PMA (Project Management Awesomeness), but somehow I don’t think that’s going to catch on. Maybe we need and IFB or an RFP, or better yet, an RFBA (request for better acronym).

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