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Project Management – when it’s done right –

When you’ve seen Project Management being executed well, the impact is tremendous. Being part of a well-managed project – accomplishing unbelievable results as a unified team, effectively hitting one milestone after another – few things in your career will provide you with such lasting, proud memories.

If you are an IT professional, then you engage in projects from time to time.  The more projects you’ve seen, the more likely you are to be able to distinguish between well managed versus poorly managed projects.  What are the signs of a well-managed project?  Why are some projects not so well managed?  And is there an art to project management?

A well-managed project can be recognized when:

  • The scope of work is clearly defined and the team knows their role
  • The Project Manager is visible, serving as the hub of information
  • A project plan is being followed with forecasted deliverables
  • Issues are being tracked and monitored
  • Phases are completed on time
  • Clear communication and no issues are permitted to become a crisis
  • Project documents are simple and easily accessible

The Rise to Project Manager

Why are some projects not so well-managed?  In the IT world of healthcare, Project Managers emerge in one of two ways.  Either they are promoted into the role because they were good at something else, or they are placed into the role after receiving project management education.  Despite the path one takes to becoming a Project Manager, there is no substitute for real experience.

It turns out that Project Management IS an art

Project Management is an art – and excellence comes from experience, knowledge, and mentorship.  There is an art to dealing with your vendors, motivating your team, sensing issues with the user community, and knowing when to escalate.  Projects are successful because of the people that work them – and if you can’t “artfully” get the most from your team, your project will suffer.  Hospitals are drowning in projects – and good Project Managers are needed now more than ever.  It takes time to develop good PMs, but the payoff is tremendous.

Consistent, effective Project Management

What’s the first step to fixing this?  Each hospital should determine the 10-20 basic steps that must be followed for each project – for example, insist that a scope, a team structure, an issue tracking system, and a plan must be developed for every project.  Use the same format / style from project to project.  Draft the process / methods that your PMs should use, such as meeting styles and frequency, manner of forecasting, and methods of communicating with the vendor.  Once your PM process is working, implement a mentorship program where all new PMs are mentored by successful PMs that can teach those internal methods.

Atlanticon PM Services

  • PRN Project Management, where you retain our services on an as needed basis to guide your PM through strategy and execution
  • Project Oversight, a senior level service of visiting your facility monthly to work with your PM and oversee the project, alerting your leadership of potential critical situations
  • Project Evaluation, a rapid approach that takes 3-5 days on-site, evaluating your current project to determine strengths and risks, providing our findings to your senior team at the end of the visit
  • Standard Project Management Engagement, where we provide one of our PMs to take charge of your project and lead your team, applying our methods and utilizing your strengths to achieve success
  • Project Coaching, a service that helps your facility implement an overall PM structure. It begins with IT Governance, and using common methods and processes provided by us. These methods are to be used for every project, so we give you a repeatable process.  The outcome of this 8 hour training session is a PM Guidebook and many tools. We provide a mechanism for your Director or CIO to easily keep an eye on the status of all projects. We can also do a modified “Project Setup” service. This would prepare your team for a single, large project. Project Setup is the most important phase of a project. We can help you greatly increase your chances for success.

All Atlanticon services are founded in common sense and tested in numerous successful projects.  Our methods have been designed to work in the real world. I welcome you to reach out to me with your comments, at BArnold@Atlanticon.net.

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