Using social network analysis to visualize project teams

Past research indicates that effective communication is one of the keys to successful project management. Unfortunately, because it involves people, communication is a complex and continually changing subject that is difficult to measure. Communication on today's projects is becoming increasingly complex. Technological complexity, multiple stakeholders, and compressed time frames are inundating project managers with a sea of information. While most project managers agree that good communication is vital to project success, there are few tools that are available for measuring project performance. This paper presents a social network analysis (SNA) approach that has been used widely in the social sciences to analyze and measure how communication occurs between individuals and groups. The discussion includes a review of the basic concepts of SNA, provides background on data collection and analysis, and describes a case study where SNA was used to understand project communication performance.
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