Business Studies Paper on Video Conferencing in Project Management

Video Conferencing in Project Management

Project managers normally deal with complex and challenging situations that demand a high level of skills and expertise. Technology is changing day by day and a technologically savvy project manager needs to keep up with the dynamics and changes in technology in order to offer reliable service in managing projects. A project manager should always be at par with the latest technology in order to have the necessary power to work out complex and demanding projects with a lot of ease (Shtub et al, 2005). Due to the sensitivity involved in project management, it is quite inappropriate to relay on second hand information, that can be distorted and altered, therefore,  it is necessary to always relay on first hand information (Nicholas and Steyn, 2008). This can be solved by one of the most current technologies that is being embraced by some influential organizations, the technology of video conferencing. In dealing with geographically dispersed projects, the project manager cannot visit every site and meet face-to-face with the workers and staff (Nicholas and Steyn, 2008). Video conferencing creates a platform for one-on-one communication between people who are far apart. Unlike using the phone for communication where a person gets the voice without demonstration, video conferencing enables the use of signs and gesture in the communication and provide more interactive communication.

Video conferencing has many benefits that can enable the project manager be able to undertake his/her duties without unnecessary movements. The project manager can be strategically positioned in one area where he/she can be able to view and get necessary feedback from the site of the project.  This significantly reduces the cost of travelling which is part of the expenses that are incurred in project implementation (Gough and Rosenfeld, 2006). Normally, in working out projects, there are some areas that may not be clear to the managers and therefore it is necessary to make consultations from experts. Video conferencing can help the project manger make consultation on the issues pertaining the project so as to enable him to oversee the project effectively. Basically, the task of ensuring successful project demands a lot of accuracy and preciseness and therefore, consultations through video conferencing is quite necessary. During project implementation, it is necessary for the project manager to conduct some timely meetings with the workers and stuffs in order to give them some necessary information and this can be done in the absence of the project manger through video conferencing (Shtub et al, 2005). Morning meetings before the work begins, the project manager can be meeting with the staff in the comfort of his/her office through video conferencing and may be join them later as they progress with their duties. This can allow the manager to work out some issues that demands urgency in their offices and at the same time coordinate projects in the site.

Video Conferencing Products

            The reason why organizations and businesses choose to deploy the services of video conferencing is because of the need to see the people you are communicating with, so as to understand better than using phone communication. There are two kinds of products in video conferencing, room based systems also called room based conferencing system and desktop or videoconferencing software. Both products have different features that enable communication through video conferencing. It is importance to understand the kind of communication you want to make and the number of audience you intend to have in order to be able to consider the best product.

            The RBVCS (Room-based Video Conferencing System) involves physical set up and arrangement of the necessary audio and video equipment in a manner that can allow an interactive meeting. RBVCS enables people to conduct group meetings in a fast and effective manner unlike the software system which is designed for person to person communication. Though the software system is designed for person to person exchange, it is however used in meetings in some cases. One of the disadvantages of using software system is that there is small area of view that compels people using it to move closer to the screen in order to be able to have a good view. Also, in most cases the software system appears unreliable when holding meetings due to their poor audio and video quality, hence discouraging people from active participation in a dialogue. This system seems to suit a person to person conversation rather than a group dialogue because of the limitations it harbors. Preparing a meeting for video conferencing software is quite challenging and complicated and this tends to discourage many people from using the method. However, this system is not somehow flexible compared to the room product of videoconferencing. RBVCS is suitable for meetings and conferences because highly sensitive microphones and cameras are normally available and placed in strategic positions to ensure a wide coverage. This product make the people feel as though they are in a normal meeting because it is quite interactive and efficient. Also, it gives better quality of audio and video because specific equipments are used for specific purpose unlike the software system where a computer serves many purposes. There is more comfortable experience in room based conferencing than the software system due to the space allowance it provides to the people in the meeting. However, the group based product is cumbersome in its installation and experts are required to prepare the system before the meeting. It also discourages some people from actively participating in the meeting due to the aspect of using the microphone which makes some people to shy off.

References

Nicholas, J. M., & Steyn, H. (2008). Project management for business, engineering, and technology: Principles and practice. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.

Gough, M., & Rosenfeld, J. (2006). Video conferencing over IP: Configure, secure, and troubleshoot. Rockland, MA: Syngress.

Shtub, A., Bard, J. F., & Globerson, S. (2005). Project management: Processes, methodologies, and economics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.