- Posted by Joe Crandall
- On November 1, 2012
Greencastle’s Fall CHIME 2012 Presentation: Discusses why healthcare needs to adopt the enterprise PMO model in order to embrace real change
Every hospital project is an IT project. How many times have you heard that in the past few years? A quick look at the evidence and there is little room for argument:
- Hospital budgets remain stagnant while healthcare IT projects grow. Eight of ten providers expect organizational HIE budgets to significantly increase by 2014 (2012 Black Book State of the Enterprise HIE Industry report).
- Unprecedented HIT spending. $40b investment in all IT related services, $8.2b in software services alone (RNCO study).
- The rise of health data analytics (HDA). Almost every aspect of healthcare can be improved through the use of HDA. Terabytes of healthcare data … terabytes!
As the American healthcare industry moves into its own Information Age, the existing IT infrastructure supporting the projects of today must be realigned strategically across the entire organization to support the projects of tomorrow.
The function of a healthcare Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) is pretty simple. The EPMO would be the single source of information related to all strategically aligned projects for the entire organization. This creates more accountability, better communication, and data governance.
Along with implementing an EPMO, an organization must look at the portfolio management process. You can’t have one without the other. The EPMO ensures the projects are done right, but the portfolio management process ensures that the right projects are chosen.
With each IT project being considered a major strategic project, the EPMO becomes the communication hub for the organization. It provides timely and effective mitigation of issues, risks, and budgets. The EPMO makes sure communications are the right message at the right level at the right time. The EPMO also standardizes the best practices of project management across the organization so all projects run smoother.
The other byproduct of elevating the PMO to an EPMO is that the CIO and team become true partners within the organization. The IT staff is already involved in the majority of projects already. Why not leverage their skills to benefit the entire organization?
The benefits to implementing an EPMO are clear:
- Project alignment. All projects introduced are managed through a central resource and aligned with organizational goals
- Project capacity. More projects in less time. Long-term planning is simpler and efficient.
- Project focus. Projects are focused on the strategic goals of the institution and embrace lasting change, not the “flavor of the month.”
- Project execution. Projects are executed with industry-standard processes resulting in project done right, on time, and completely.
- Project redundancy. One central location has the knowledge to ensure projects are not duplicative or redundant.
One example. In 2008, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) established an IT EPMO with the goal of standardizing best practices and improving project success rates across all hospital IT departments within the health system. Since being established, the EPMO has reached its goals and then some. Due to its success, the EPMO was repositioned to support all enterprise-wide projects in 2012.