Project Management In Health Care

In my previous role, I worked as a Project Management Consultant in the Project Management Office (PMO) for a health system in the greater Chicago-land area.  Project Management Consultants are responsible for “driving high-profile, complex projects, helping customers and stakeholders to meet their needs, and acting as a change agent to foster continuous process improvement” (source: job description).  In this organization, there were eight Project Management Consultants who reported to the Director, Project Management Office.  The Director reported to the Vice President, Strategic Planning.


We used a custom, Project Management application called Performance Logic to manage operational and strategic projects and to track performance against our targets.  Performance Logic is similar to Microsoft Project but is web-based and user-friendly so it can be used by the ‘first time’ Project Manager.  We also incorporated many of the tools we discussed in our MGT 598 class – project charter, detailed project plan, status reports, etc. — as part of our Project Management process.


The process begins when an operational leader (i.e., Director of Emergency Department) fills out a new project request form, which can be accessed from the hospital’s intranet site.  The operational leader provides the project information, service level required, business need, statement of work, project boundaries, critical success factors, project assumptions, project constraints and estimated costs.


There were five service levels offered:

  1. Project set up and/or training in Performance Logic
  2. Project planning
  3. Project consultation
  4. Full project management
  5. Problem solving facilitation


The Director of Project Management Office and the Vice President of Strategic Planning reviews all projects requiring full project management or problem solving facilitation weekly.  If the project aligns with the health system’s strategic priorities (e.g, quality/patient satisfaction, strategic initatives, growth, financial stability), a resource is assigned.  A Project Management Consultant can be assigned up to eight projects at any given time based on their professional interests and capacity.


In this health system, a matrix structure was used to organized projects (Larson and Gray, 2014).           The Project Management Consultant works closely with the operational leader of the area to complete the project charter and meet the project goals and objectives.  The project team consisted of front line staff who can participate on multiple projects while performing their duties as a physician, nurse, pharmacist, etc.  At the project kick-off, a stakeholder analysis and communication strategy can be completed to ensure all stakeholders are informed throughout the project.


This is one example of how Project Management can be applied in health care.  How is Project Management applied in your industry?



Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2014). Project Management: The Managerial Process (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

3 thoughts on “Project Management In Health Care

  1. The overall concept is similar to what we do in the defense industry, but the tools and process are different . In a defense world, we receive an RFP (Request for Proposal) from customer, the organization then internally creates and submits a cost-volume (and a tech-volume), which provides a cost estimate of what it will be take to do this project. If customer approves our cost and schedule, then it funds our project. Once funded, project is assigned resources and WBS and Master Project Plan and Schedule are created, followed, and tracked by customer along with financials. We use many tools to go through this process BOE Gen, EVM, etc

  2. Cythia, nice topic! It is interesting to see how different industries handle projects. I am in higher education and work on technology solutions for universities. Our projects can range from a few semesters to years depending on the contract agreement. I am currently part of a dedicated team where each member works full-time on the project. The work strays from our usual line of business where people normally consult on multiple projects or with multiple universities. Our team has a single project manager that reports to the Chief Learning Officer. Other than that there is no additional functional reporting structure. The team is also housed in the same building with the rest of the employees. Overall I enjoy being part of a dedicated team because I feel I can put all of my focus towards one goal.

  3. The process your company follows is similar to what we follow even though we are in a different industry. Our first step is to have the client fill out a project initiation form. This form gives us all the requirements along with other restrictions and qualifications. We then hand those off to someone in a project management type role who analysis the resources necessary and provides an estimate in terms of time and money. After we receive sign off the project moves into the development stage. After the development stage we do a round of testing in UAT. The client can also test out the capabilities if they choose. Once the testing is complete we move to a implementation stage that also includes issue resolution.

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