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:
- Project set up and/or training in Performance Logic
- Project planning
- Project consultation
- Full project management
- 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.