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Network Project Management: Health Service Program

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Question:

Discuss about the Network Project Management for Health Service Program.

 

Answer:

Introduction

This paper provides an analysis of a communication plan adopted by the county health department for its integrated data management system project.  The department has for long time been using different data systems for each community health service program. However, the department has now appreciated the importance of having one synchronized data management system for all the community programs that will improve efficiency of the department, in terms of serving the community and responding to any disease breakout that may occur in the community. 

The communication plan adopted in this project is fairly realistic with an exception of some parts which needs modification. On the part of government agencies it is important that the project manager provide detailed information to them even without being requested because the government is the sole caretaker of the public interest. Therefore it as matter of duty rather than opinion on the part of the project manager to provide the data regarding progress made on the project to all relevant government agencies.  There is need to have realistic mode of communication especially when dealing with large group of people. For Example the plan lists calling as part of the method of communicating to employees. This would be challenging, to make calls to all the employees one by one is time consuming and it is not realistic. The plan is effective in listing all stakeholders who needs to be updated on the progress of the program. For example the union may seem a not so important stakeholder but it is given the role they play between the management of the health sector and the employees. The plan has incorporated all the major stakeholders from the client, (county health department), senior management, sponsors through to employees, on regular and continuous mode of communication which largely contributes to smooth running of the project. This also promotes the support the project requires especially from the senior management of the county health department.  (Hawkins and Haggerty, 2003)

 

Comparing this communication plan and project management practices, we find a number of similarities and differences. On similarities, project management practices have a plan for continuous provision of information to all major stakeholders like the sponsors of the project and the client. This is also the case on this project’s communication plan, as it lists the major shareholders for continuous provision of information and minor stakeholders who receives progress reports on inquiry such as the community. On practice, it is time consuming to provide continuous progress report to all stakeholders of the project regardless of being a major or a minor stakeholder, and project managers prefer to segregate stakeholders accordingly to save on time.  Most of the public project management communication plans list the government as one of the major stakeholder even if it is not the sponsor of the project. This is due to the fact that the government is the custodian of public interest and must therefore feature prominently on all public projects. This plan however does not have the government on the part of those stakeholders who should be updated with regular and continuous progress report, a departure from the project management practices.  The plan also is different to the project management practices as most of the projects have suppliers. 

Recommended Project Communication Plan

CNo.

Who; identify who needs to be informed, government, contractors, the public.

What; Identify what information to be provided.

When; Identify when will the information be provided?

How often;

How will the information be delivered?

Identify who is responsible to providing the information

 

Government agencies 

Progress on the development of County integrated data management system 

When a major milestone is reached

If no major milestone achieved, progress report should be provide every two weeks

Written submissions

The project manager

 

Contractor

Progress on the development of County integrated data management system 

Whenever a major milestone is achieved

On daily basis

On email

The project manager

 

 

The public

Progress on the development of County integrated data management system 

After every one month

 

Public forums

Assistant project manager

 

Unions

That the project being commenced will not affect job opportunities for it members e.g. retrenchment.

Once at the beginning of the project

 

 

 

           _

Written submission

Project manager

 

Senior management

Progress on the development of County integrated data management system 

Whenever a major milestone is achieved

If no major milestone achieved, progress report should be provided weekly

email

Project manger

 

Project team members

Progress on the development of County integrated data management system 

Daily basis

Daily basis

email

Project manager

Justification

I propose that on top of listing all the stakeholders that need to be updated on the progress of the project as well as what information to be provided and how will it be provide, it is important that the communication plan indicates who is going to provide the information and to who. This will provide clear roles and mandate on the project communication plan. It also helps incase such information are not provided then it clear who should be asked to provide the information. (Campbell, 2009)

It also important that whenever a milestone is achieved in the project, major stakeholders such as contractor and the client be informed promptly so that in case they have any issues regarding the milestone then the issue can be addressed early enough before the project progresses further and to a point where effecting the would-be changes becomes challenging and requires major redesigning to be made. (Campbell, 2009)

Conclusion

In conclusion, given that the government is the public sole trustee, It is important that the communication plan fro the county health department’s integrate data management system, lists the government has a major stakeholder that needs progress update on continuous and regular basis.  It is also important that the communication indicates who is responsible for communicating what information to who as this promotes efficient communication throughout the project development. 

 

References

Campbell, G. (2009). Communications skills for project managers. New York: AMACOM.

Fossel, M. and Dorfman, S. (n.d.). Electronic health records.

Gregg Fahrenholz, C. and Russo, R. (n.d.). Documentation for health records.

Hawkins, J. and Haggerty, L. (2003). Diversity in health care research. New York: Springer Pub.

Jones, R. (2007). Project management survival. London: Kogan Page.

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