Project Team Structure
If you find yourself on a project team, like most of us you’ll want to know your role. Are you in charge of something or someone? Are you taking orders or giving them? To whom do you report?
Once everyone knows their role, your project will be poised for a higher level of success and your teams more functional and empowered. When people feel involved in a team the team becomes bigger than the sum of its people. A great project-team structure helps achieve that.
But there’s much more that’s taken into consideration when establishing a team—especially a large, functional EMR project team. This article discusses some of the factors a Project Manager should consider.
Developing the Project Org Chart
Atlanticon recommends that you develop a project org chart that begins at the Executive level and goes all the way down to the Team Member level. The chart should be logically built and labeled clearly. Color coding is a great way to differentiate verticals on the team. In addition to the chart, the responsibility for members at each level should be clearly stated.
The Executive level is responsible for providing overall support and serving as the champion for the project. They answer to Administration, the internal user community, and the external users and customers of the project. This level usually consists of a Steering Committee and other small groups of Executive representatives. The entities at this level set the tone for the project by providing stable, consistent guidance, decision making, budget review and support, and leadership. The Executive Level receives reports and major issues from the Program Manager.
The Program level is headed by a Program Manager. The Program Manager drives the project, maintains the Master Project Plan, and assigns Project Managers. They also chair key committee meetings, serve as the voice of the project, and maintain communication with the vendor. This position sets project standards regarding status, issue handling, and risk review. And the Program Manager utilizes the Project Managers as their key team to assign, strategize, and carry out all the duties necessary for the project. (Some organizations may combine the Program and Project levels into a single level.)
The Project level consists of Project Managers who serve as the primary oversight body of all the various sub-teams for the project. Project Managers help assign critical Team Lead positions. They also maintain their teams’ project plans, provide plan status to the Program Manager, and control the speed and quality of their teams’ work. These individuals work closely with one another, monitoring issues, ensuring cross-team functionality, projecting resource needs, and setting the pace.
- >Project Managers at this level might consist of Technical, Clinic, Nursing, Ancillary, and Business.
The Team level is made of Team Leads who are responsible for ensuring that all project tasks are completed in accordance with the project timeline. Team Leads are instrumental in determining the necessary makeup of their teams and utilizing the project sub-plans developed by their Project Managers. They then enhance those plans with detailed tasks to ensure all items are completed on time. The Team Leads utilize Liaisons and other committees to gather feedback, gain signoff/approval and oversee their applications and/or areas of responsibility to validate that they are being handled with the utmost quality. They take direction from the Project Managers and work with other Team Leads on consistency and cohesiveness within the project. Team Leads maintain the issues for their respective areas of the project in the project issue-tracking system.
- >Team Leads at this level would consist of sub-teams under the Project Level. For example, Nursing Team Leads might contain ED, Critical Care, Med/Surg, and Women/Children, all reporting up to the Nursing Project Manager.
Team Member Level
Finally, the Team Members take direction from the Team Leads. They conduct all the tasks assigned, reporting and working through issues as they arise. Team Members follow guidelines set forth for reporting, tailoring, approval, and all other project-related policies and expectations. Team Members may serve on multiple teams and must work with other Team Members to gain knowledge and assist as needed. These are your subject matter experts.
Very importantly, don’t forget peripheral teams. These are teams that exist for certain periods of the project or for a specific purpose. Training, Testing, Charge Review, Communications, and Policy Development are examples of pop up teams.
Hospital EMR Projects
Regarding hospital EMR projects, many only have levels for Executive, Project, Team Lead, and Subject Matter Expert roles. Vendor expectations for teams can drive how you set up your project-team structure; you should consult your vendors to ensure your teams align with their implementation model.
If you would like to discuss your team structure or get an example of a typical hospital EMR project chart, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.