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Posted by on Apr 4, 2014

GSA Uses the Cloud to Smash Barriers

barrierThe term road block is synonymous with barrier for a reason. Perhaps that’s what inspired the General Services Administration (GSA) to look to the cloud to overcome communication barriers as they move toward a hoteling model for their office workspaces.

As discussed in The 77 Deadly Sins of Project Management, if your project hits a barrier—anything that restrains or obstructs progress or access—that means there is something coming in between you and the success of your project. As project managers, it is our duty to remove barriers to keep the project moving. These days, for an organization like GSA, which is spread out with regional offices in 11 different cities across the country, a barrier to an enterprise-wide project like this could be as basic as communicating appropriately with all of the necessary stakeholders. And for that very reason, GSA has been working on migrating many of its core agency systems to the cloud.

As part of this migration, GSA set up an enterprise social network for its employees, which they leveraged as part of their hoteling model project to capture ideas about streamlining their business processes. InformationWeek reports that this move has saved GSA approximately $5 million annually.

By being inclusive and removing communications barriers from the onset of the project, GSA enabled its employees to collaborate on ideas for future phases of the project, generating continued stakeholder buy-in and leading the way toward overall project success. This hoteling model shift includes a major change in their organizational culture and it demonstrates an admirable level of awareness for them to build on the project’s progress and leverage the network as a line of communication about the project itself.

GSA has also leveraged the same social network communications tool to aid in continued employee support for project improvements and ideas as well enabling GSA employees to track project costs and schedules with links to their internal planning and budget documents.

To learn more about project barriers and tips to avoid and overcome them in your own projects, download the excerpt “Sin #4: Barriers” and check out the complete book The 77 Deadly Sins of Project Management from Management Concepts Press.

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