You probably have heard of the growth in projects in the healthcare sector. While a good part of that growth has to do with IT and electronic health records, there is another area of healthcare, particularly in the United States, that is doing very well. It is facilities-based and centered around convenience. The May issue of PM Network takes a close look at this niche.
There is definitely a need for this type of facility. Patients coming to large hospital emergency departments can wait hours for care. Healthcare organizations are building smaller facilities such as urgent-care clinics, clinics in retail pharmacies and microhospitals. These places fill gaps in the healthcare landscape.
An additional benefit for organizations creating these smaller facilities is that they can embed themselves further into the communities they serve.
Speaking of communities, project teams need to be aware of the demographics of the locations they are entering. Younger residents need different types of health services than older residents.
Another key consideration is speed. With the healthcare delivery landscape evolving quickly, there is a need to beat competitors to the market. A major hurdle for teams to overcome is regulations, which vary state by state.
The United States is not the only locale for convenience-based healthcare projects. A startup company in the United Kingdom seeks to create a network of private accommodations for hospital patients, easing overcrowding at hospitals. In China, an online medical startup has created more than a dozen “internet hospitals,” connecting patients remotely with doctors via IT systems, and serving more than 150 million users.
PM Network’s May cover story is all about the gender gap in project management. If you wonder if that gap is being bridged, check out a couple of infographics contained within the story—warning, they are depressing.
“Losing Ground” cites a World Economic Forum 2017 report that estimated it would take (get ready for this) 217 years for women to reach economic parity with men. And another sidebar, citing statistics from PMI’s own Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey, shows that the average salaries for men in project management are a lot higher than average salaries for women in the field—for example, US$11,218 in the United States, or INR290,506 in India.
The article features a panel of four project practitioners speaking on the state of women in project management. The three female panelists note the domination of men in the engineering, software and transit fields. However, one of these panelists says her digital consultancy prefers women for the project management role. The male panelist, who is in the nuclear power industry, says there are a lot of women in on-site leadership roles.
Two of the women relate how they had to overcome gender-related career challenges, one by literally acting in a job she wanted for herself in order to be offered the opportunity, and the other by spending more time and effort than men earning her reputation (which she says feels like an unfair challenge). One panelist notes that women outperform men in emotional knowledge and control.
The panelists advise organizations wishing to drive gender equality to concentrate on empowering women to make decisions, have strong sponsors who will allow women to flourish and elevate women into leadership roles. They should also build awareness around the gender gap and set objectives for creating gender parity. Women seeking gender equality at their own organizations should advocate for themselves and work around gender stereotypes and prejudices.
What is your experience with the gender gap?
Entrepreneurs are very busy setting up their companies and developing their products. Perhaps dominated by visions of the wild success of Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma, project management is rarely top-of-mind. Yet David Taylor, a mentor at business incubator Virgin StartUp, says nothing is more important to getting startups off the ground.
In April PM Network®, writer Sarah Fister Gale takes you into the world of startups and shows how business incubators and accelerators can help these busy leaders integrate project management into their activities. Experts say that founders are often trying to do too many things at once and can lose control when complexity comes in, even in the form of adding a second project to the mix.
Helping startup leaders think about where risks might arise within their strategy is one way project management experts can help. Another is controlling vendors that might not want to do things the way the startup needs them to be done. Discipline is key for these entrepreneurs: They need to set goals, prioritize tasks and identify risks. Incubators need to assist their fledgling companies by instilling the need for project management from the very start.
Have you had experience managing projects for a startup? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of cold weather, especially in April. If you live in the northern part of the United States, chances are that as I am writing this, you’ve experienced snow in the last few days. Yes, in April.
There are some parts of the world where cold is an everyday reality. A project that took place in such cold is the cover story of this month’s PM Network®. The Arctic region is one of increasing economic importance, as oil and gas development start to ramp up. The only way to get supplies to the Canadian Arctic port of Tuktoyaktuk (aside from flying) was via an ice road only open four months per year.
The Canadian government has had a permanent road in mind for 50 years. Recently, the 137-kilometer road linking the Arctic with Inuvik, Northwest Territories, was completed. Challenges for the project team were many: equipment had to run 24 hours a day because of the cold; the road had to be built without destroying the natural landscape that is the cultural heritage of indigenous communities; the impact on wildlife had to be taken into account; and the road couldn’t damage the permafrost, lest it become a boggy mess each spring. Early thaws of the permafrost forced the project team to cut eight weeks from the four-year project timeline.
The project should reduce the cost of living for Tuktoyaktuk residents and save the government the annual cost of building and maintaining a winter road. The government will monitor environmental impacts to help it optimize future infrastructure projects in the Arctic.
Have you been involved in projects taking place in extreme climates? Please let us know in the comments.
Her latest column looks at what project managers can expect their role to look like in the year 2033, just 15 years away. If you think that digital disruption will change that role—you are right.
Priya covers three areas in her gaze into the crystal: automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Automation, she says, will take tedious drudgery of documentation out of project managers’ lives and allow them to focus on more creative tasks. Bots will collect and distribute information and will actually join teams, alongside humans, that project professionals will manage.
AI will take things a step forward and attune project managers to the social and emotional well-being of their teams. This will mean project managers’ people skills will be even more essential.
Priya doesn’t want you to be frightened of the future, but rather celebrate it. The world will still need project managers, even if their role appears different than today. And that is true no matter where technology is taking us to—and how fast it is getting there.