A regional medical services provider organization, which also has a focus on research and health sciences education, was seeking to build a stronger and more cohesive Information Technology (IT) practice in support of enterprise goals. Establishing and cultivating a strong Project Management (PM) competency, as well as implementing a Project Management Office (PMO) were identified as critical first steps. SDLC Partners’ experienced healthcare and project management process consultants were asked to step in and assist.
Project complexities rose sharply following consolidation of several independent entities into an integrated health network. The application development project portfolio, previously comprised of several small and medium-sized, single-stakeholder initiatives, quickly became a collection of problematic, unmanageable projects with profoundly expanded interdependencies and diverse stakeholders. Executives soon recognized the critical need for a project governance and management framework that would provide a robust, repeatable, reliable, and structured approach to manage both individual projects and the project portfolio as a whole. Specific challenges included:
- How do we consolidate a diverse portfolio of initiatives with minimal disruption to the organization?
- How do we advance in-progress critical projects while establishing a foundational framework for initiating, governing, and executing projects?
- How do we institutionalize industry-leading techniques into the client’s project staff and stakeholders?
SDLC Partners’ high-performing teams provided a seasoned team of Project Managers (PMs) with PMO and healthcare expertise to manage the full project lifecycle of several critical initiatives. These PM’s brought industry standard project management best practices, based on the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK Guide®, which increased project predictability and success. The PM team developed and implemented a structured mentoring and coaching program that helped the client build the competency of its own internal staff. In parallel, SDLC began to lead the development of standard PMO practices for project initiation, funding, project performance monitoring and change management. SDLC also led production of the client’s first project management handbook, including standard roles and responsibilities, project artifact templates, and phase gates to support effective project governance.
Consistent project management practices and effective coaching and mentoring improved both the organizational project management maturity and individual competency levels of our client’s PMs. The newly established PMO improved project performance monitoring and change management practices that reduced the project-overrun rate of the critical project portfolio by nearly 20%. Using effective governance, the client was also able to slash twelve projects of questionable value from the funded project portfolio, thereby assuring funding of the top ten business-critical strategic projects during the first fiscal year the PMO was operational.