Project Management

Finding the Right Tools

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.

A project manager has to have the right tools in order to be effective in his or her job. In some cases, this may mean using what you have--but it could also mean going out and finding something new. There should be enough tools in the toolbox so that the project manager can deal with whatever comes along in an efficient and quick manner--without having to resort to creating a new process or tool set to handle it. You cannot plan for every eventuality, but by covering the bases, you can deal with most problems and expand your tool set along the way.

Leveraging the Past
Leveraging past tools does not indicate that you are using software from the 1990s (even though we all loved Windows 95). Leveraging what was done in the past means taking the tools you used on the last project--and the customizations and changes you made to those tools--and carrying them to future projects. This may be something as simple as using the last communication plan as a template for the next communication plan, or you might have a SharePoint site with forms and tables built out to track project work.

All of these tools should not be built from scratch for each project; you can use what has been done before. Each project should stand on its own, but the tools, templates and processes should carry forward to new projects.

Evaluating the Future
While the tools you used in the past are probably …

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