Introduction Crowdsourcing is a term that describes the process of organizing labour where different firms post their projects to the social network and the ‘crowd’ work on it then the firm pays the best work done, this term was introduced by Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson(Wired Magazine, 2006). Crowdsourcing was initially in computer field but many businesses have taken up this form of labour in accomplishing of different tasks. There has been varied definition of the term crowdsourcing but what all the definitions agree is to get the intelligence of the public into accomplishing various tasks by the organization which otherwise will be done by the organization or outsource to the third party.
Seamus Condron, in his article why the power of crowdsourcing is driving the future of business, expresses how amazing crowdsourcing can be when they wanted a design of their book cover, ‘one book, one twitter, #1bit’ (www. crowdsourcing. typepad. com, 2010 ), they got massive covers and the project manager only selected the top three covers where one was to be adopted. According to Jennifer Alsever (2007), CrowdSourcing is gaining momentum with the rise of user-generate media like MySpace, twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube among others which have reduced the gap between the consumer and the producer.
Why is it important to project managers? From a wider perspective there are many people around the world who would like to help your project, right from designing of the brand, business ideas, ad campaigns to vetting a particular product. With massive skills and creativity from the ‘crowd’, project managers will be at ease in carrying out their projects. Recognition and sense of belonging of the consumers is also a factor that project managers will not want to miss out.
Internet and technology generally is another factor that project managers should appreciate and embrace in their projects, the social sites have offered a large pool of skilled labour at a very cheap price with no additional cost. Therefore crowdsourcing is important to project managers. How CrowdSourcing work An organization identifies a project or group of tasks being undertaken in-house. The organization decides to share out the task with the ‘crowd’ whose ideas on accomplishing the task are welcomed at a stipulated fee.
The crowd may be either open to all crowd or directed to a particular group within the crowd to get the required skills. The crowd submits their responses, or tasks then one member of the community offers to accomplish the task within a given time frame. After the member completes the task and it is satisfying to the customer, he/she is paid off. Sometimes several experts from the crowd may carry out the task and only one with best idea is selected and paid. In this perspective the community embers working on the task have a mutual understanding that there will be only one ‘winner’.
Firms can post their tasks on their websites, but in most cases the tasks are posted to the web sites which acts as a marketplace (Tapscott and Williams, 2006)