Project management refers to the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet related objectives. In any public health project, the effective application of project management helps ensure key activities happen on time and on budget.
Managing projects require the following tasks:
Set the scope. Setting the scope involves creating a project charter. The project charter establishes a clear, compelling and shared vision for a new project. Any change that needs to occur that falls outside the scope of the project charter needs to be discussed and approved by the project sponsor. Developing a project charter helps to ensure the scope remains consistent over time and that the timeline for deliverables is met.
Determine and allocate staffing resources. Implementing this initiative cannot be done alone. Using a staff allocation matrix to determine who is assigned to this project, their roles and responsibilities and how much time is allocated to the project activities for each staff member helps to inform project budgets.
Establish a timeline. Creating a project schedule is a way to list all of the project milestones, activities and deliverables with associated owners and timelines to completion. Remember to allow for a bit of buffer room in case a risk is identified that pushes back the timeline. The goal is to implement the initiative by the end date of the timeline. Allow enough time for activities so that even if the worst case scenario occurs, there is still enough time in the schedule for a punctual implementation.
Ensure quality outcomes. This section is the most time-intensive but will set the data modernization team up for success. To ensure quality outcomes, the team will need to plan and be prepared for what might happen during project development and implementation. This includes identifying project governance, keeping a “Risks, Actions, Issues, Decisions (RAID)” log and developing meeting templates to be prepared ahead of time. Lastly, as the project comes to a close, it is important to have the team conduct a project closeout to determine lessons learned.
Resource: Project Management Framework
The project management framework provides guidance to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close a project. This tool can be adapted to fit the health department’s data modernization projects.
Resource: Project Management tool set
The project management tool set is included in the IIS Migration Toolkit and can be modified to fit the data modernization projects within the health department. The tool set includes resources related to creating a project charter, determining staffing resources, planning for time and ensuring quality outcomes.