Lost in Transition

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

IT and system projects have a lifecycle that begins with design and ends in operations. At least operations is the hopeful ending of the lifecycle; it is possible that the ending of the system project is a fiery death in the halls of fallen projects. Assuming that the project is successful, though, the project manager should be working to assist in the transition from a project environment filled with tight deadlines and high stress to a stable operational environment that is geared toward keeping the status quo. This can be difficult to imagine, especially in the last home stretch of the project as everyone is racing toward the finish line.

In this transition, the role of the project manager and the project management office (if there is one) will change quite a bit. In the design and development phases, the project manager was leading the way, charging forward with gantt charts and processes and rally cries. In the operational phase of the lifecycle, the project manager will be ensuring that solid processes are followed and overseeing small projects related to defects or change requests. As the project manager works to transition the team from project management to system management, it is important that the project management office does not get lost in transition. The project manager has definite responsibilities and an important role in the operational side as well …

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"Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"

- Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen)