Because many aspects of health care operations are changing, health care administrators oversee a wide variety of projects. These can include logistical projects such as moving a department to a new facility, technology-related projects such as introducing a new system or piece of equipment, or process-related projects such as initiating new procedures for patient discharge. If the project has any degree of complexity, it will benefit from a project management approach. Administrators and managers in health care need to have a working understanding of project management: why it is important, what it accomplishes, and the repercussions on the organization if its basic tenets are ignored or not followed. Within project management, the project plan is the cornerstone of successful execution of a project. The project plan is designed to guide the process and execution of a project.
For this Assignment, you will develop a project plan, using as your focus a work-related project you are doing now or will be doing in the future.
Part 1: Service Level Agreement
It is suggested that the project you select be manageable in scope and not overly complex. You will assume that the objectives and scope of the project you have selected have been vetted and approved. The next step is to develop a project plan. You will develop a project management plan that will walk through key steps of the project management process. The objective of this Assignment is not a deep dive into the full intricacies of project management. Rather, it is to ensure that as a health care administrator, you have a solid theory and practical knowledge of key aspects of the project management process.
For Part 1 of this Assignment, you will create a Service Level Agreement (3–5 pages) which includes the following:
- Project Description, Purpose, and Objectives: The project description delineates key aspects of a project. In 1–2 pages, your project plan should:
- Describe the project and explain the purpose and justification for the project.
- Explain the goals and objectives of the project.
- Describe the requirements for the project.
- Explain the tangible measures for acceptance criteria used to achieve project success.
- Project Scope: The project scope defines the scope of the project and how the scope will be managed. In 2–3 pages, your project plan should:
- Summarize, in detail, the expected deliverables for the project.
- Explain the acceptance criteria for the project.
- Explain the project assumptions, risks, and constraints.
- Roles and Responsibilities: By definition, a project is a unique undertaking with a beginning and an end point. One responsibility of management is to determine who will be a part of the project team (including designation of a project manager). Ask yourself, “Who needs to be on this team to ensure that project goals are successfully met?” Consider as well the importance of communication among team members. What communication needs will each individual have? With whom will they communicate and how?
- Using the Project Roles and Responsibilities Matrix template in the Learning Resources, list the names* and titles of all individuals or entities involved in the project. Indicate whether each stakeholder is internal or external to the project organization.
- Identify the internal and external stakeholders for a project.
- Distinguish the roles and responsibilities of the project stakeholders.
- Explain how to communicate with project stakeholders.
Note: For privacy purposes, please use pseudonyms.
Part 2: Project Schedule
There are many different methodologies for planning and scheduling a project. For this Assignment, you will develop a Gantt chart that depicts key project activities, time allotted for each activity, and when each activity is scheduled to begin. To do so, you will need to consider dependencies. Some activities will be sequential, others may be simultaneous, and some may overlap.
Note: You may create your own Gantt chart using Excel, or search for and download a Gantt chart template.
- Using a Gantt chart, construct a project schedule.
- In 2–3 paragraphs of your project plan, explain the estimating techniques used to develop your project schedule. Provide rationale for why these techniques will be effective.
Part 3: Strategies for Maintaining the Project Budget
A project begins with an approved budget. Too often, however, unless the budget is meticulously managed, budget overruns occur. Health care administrators must ensure that the project management process includes careful oversight on spending. In 2–3 pages, describe the project budget key success factors including the following:
- Analyze at least three strategies that can be applied for due diligence and maintaining oversight of the project budget.
- Explain at least two challenges each of these strategies might present and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Compare the positive outcomes that might result from each strategy.
Part 4: Risk Management, Quality Management, and Sustainability
Even the most straightforward and well-planned project can be impacted by unexpected circumstances. Anticipating risks is a key part of project management, and one that a health care administrator or manager must ensure is taken into consideration by the project team. Additionally, If not carefully monitored, budget and time constraints can take a toll on the quality of a project. Create a 2–4 page risk management and quality management plan, which includes the following:
- Describe how you plan to manage risks for your project.
- Analyze strategies for managing quality within your project.
- Analyze strategies for sustainability of your project.
- Describe at least two tools and/or techniques you plan to use to manage quality and defend why you chose those tools.