Why is it so difficult to complete an IT implementation? Seems there are so many obstacles; how do you manage those to meet any kind of timeline? In my experience, most of the control on completing the project is out of the Project Manager’s hands but there are some key tips to help.
One obstacle is that the team isn’t always clear on the purpose of the work being done, i.e., bringing health results from an EMR (electronic medical record) to a clinical data repository (CDR) as an example. It is always wise to have a meeting with all teams involved, the sending site, any third-party vendors and the site receiving the data (clinical data repository, like an HIE). The meeting should specifically state the purpose and the expected outcomes. Oftentimes, this conversation should be initiated by the leadership of the sending team. They can outline the timing and the importance of the project.
Once the teams understand the why, then they will tune in to the how. You can ensure that the teams understand how the project will flow. During this portion of the discussion, ask questions to understand their level of knowledge and experience with integral parts of the requirements, i.e., HL-7 abilities or the software requirements. This will be key in requesting additional resources and setting an appropriate timeline.
Now that the teams are in place and the timeline set, execution begins. As you hit roadblocks, you can remind the team of the agreed-upon timelines, but often any third-party resources are not bound by that initial timeline – only if the team they are assisting escalates and gets some leadership or stakeholder-backing and commitment. Otherwise the entire implementation is at risk.
Lastly, keeping in constant communication is essential to success. Regular communication with teams executing the tasks will keep them motivated and continually bring the tasks-at-hand to the forefront, especially if they have other competing work. If the task(s) continues to delay, an escalation-communication may become necessary. It is wise to have this escalation plan in place prior to beginning the execution phase of the project. No team should be surprised when that line of communication is initiated.
Implementation projects always have risks and challenges, but many can be managed. All teams must have the same goal in mind for success! CoreTech Revolution has managed many different types of projects and assisted many different types of clients in their challenging projects. If you have one such project, feel free to look us up, we can help.