Just Ask Angie! Quality Project Information Will Lead to Better Decisions

18 November 2011
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There have been many major successful IPOs in 2011.  From Groupon to Linkedin and Pandora, in a shaky economic climate these major internet players have proven that the Web still has much room for growth.  One of the more interesting IPOs in 2011 that sheds light on what businesses and consumers seek to gain from each other is “Angie’s List.”  Founded in 1995 (a dinosaur by internet standards), despite still being in the red, Angie’s IPO has increased its valuation by 25% pegging it at approximately $900 million.  Not bad for a company that started in Ohio by Angie Hicks who developed the idea to gather consumer reviews of local contractors by literally recruiting subscribers by knocking on doors.  After only recruiting 1000 paid members in 1996, Angie launched a call in service that would eventually transform into an online giant whose claim to fame would be the quality of information she provided her members.  Her thoughts were, if reviews are posted by paid members and there is a formal vetting process in place, this will set Angie’s List apart from the rest of the free reviews online.  With over a million paid members in 175 markets in 2010, Angie’s List boasts higher quality reviews of the services listed on its site.  With that being said, it evident that Angie’s business model makes a lot of sense in our information driven world that is polluted with too many unreliable sources served up by the Worldwide Web.

As with Angie’s model, the same can be true with today’s project based environments.  Clearly the access to information for project managers’ and their key stakeholders has increased.  The ability to access project information online, via emails and in documents can provide all the necessary information required to improve project performance and success.  Although accessibility to information is the first step in the right direction, too much information can lead to analysis paralysis and/or inefficiency in getting to the right data in time.  As a result, project leaders and stakeholders are faced with a new challenge of accessing both quality and relevant information in a timely manner.  The ability to address this new challenge will streamline project processes, improve collaboration and better facilitate project teams to respond to emerging issues and bottlenecks.  For today’s project stakeholders, the Angie List’s model makes sense.  Like Angie’s list, project leaders need to develop a similar model that controls the flow, accuracy and relevancy of the project information shared among stakeholders.  Obviously, this can be quite a challenge when the access of the world’s information is at your finger tips!

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