Strategic Projects

Projects and initiatives undertaken at all organizational levels are generally used as a mechanism to achieve strategic goals and objectives. The projects of strategic importance have far-reaching ramifications that far outlast the lifecycle of any particular project. To increase the likelihood of success, interprofessional project teams need to use adaptable Project Management methodology that involves a systems approach to planning, executing and controlling the projects. Project Management methodology provides the robust structure, focus, and control needed to meet project specifications, balance competing demands, facilitate change, and achieve desired results on time and within budget. Seamlessly integrated process improvement methodology is essential to drive undesirable variation out of the system, improve efficiency and effectiveness of work processes, minimize waste, optimize the use of resources, and create value from the viewpoint of patients and other stakeholders. It is also important to develop a standardized framework for effective multi-project coordination, create an integrated human resource plan, clarify roles and responsibilities, and secure adequate financial resources while ensuring sustainable performance of existing operations.

To allocate required resources to the strategic projects with the most merit, many organizations have established processes for screening and prioritizing project proposals using a number of financial methods such as cost-benefit analysis, net present value, payback period, return on investment (ROI), and breakeven point. The expected financial payback represents only one of the decision factors and projects are often selected based on other important considerations including the degree of alignment with strategic goals, current and anticipated organizational needs, impact on patient and staff safety, new regulatory requirements, emergence of innovative technologies, demand for services, and many others. Some projects may require a feasibility study to evaluate if it is even possible to complete the project successfully given the current resources and organizational capabilities. To facilitate systematic project prioritization and selection organizations can use any of the decision-making tools customized to meet specific needs and circumstances. However, even the most sophisticated tools should be used only as a guide and not a substitute for sound judgment. The figure below provides an example of a simple tool called Impact – Feasibility Matrix