Running the Short Project

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 long project can take multiple teams and a lot of investment from an organization and a customer over many years, and the project will go through long phases and iterations before finally being completely executed.

A short project, on the other hand, can be quite different to manage. There may be only one small team that is not even fully devoted to the project; in fact, everyone on the project—including the project manager—is probably pulling double duty on many projects and other work. Managing and working on these small projects will take a different viewpoint and skill set from working on large implementation programs or projects. The project manager should be ready to dig in and get things done quickly and efficiently.

The Sprint vs. The Marathon
Racing in a sprint takes a completely different skill set from racing in a marathon. The sprinter trains to use all their energy in one short burst, while the marathon runner trains for endurance and stamina. The project manager should understand to approach short projects as if they were sprints.

The processes and methodologies you use for short projects should take into consideration that the project will not last long. There should be short ramp-up times, and speed is especially important—no process should get bogged down in unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy. You do not have the luxury of time,…

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I see where one young boy has just passed 500 hours sitting in a treetop. There is a good deal of discussion as to what to do with a civilization that produces prodigies like that. Wouldn't it be a good idea to take his ladder away from him and leave him up there?

- Will Rogers

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