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The success of any project comes down not only to the software that is being implemented but also to the people that you select to complete the work.  Project teams must be staffed not only by those with the technical skills required but also with the drive and commitment to overcome obstacles and get the job done.  Soft skills are important as well, such as change management, project management, process change, and communication.  These talents prevent costly mistakes and misunderstandings that can derail Go-Live dates or lead to an inevitable failure of the project to meet expectations. To ensure your project’s success, follow these best practices for fielding a project team.

Hospitals rarely have abundant resources waiting in the wings for their next major project. Those team members that are great for the project team usually are in high demand, and often have regular responsibilities that prevent them from making the required time commitment. Rather than be dissuaded by these challenges, they should serve only as confirmation that you have identified the right people. Far too often, projects suffer because rather than making the time available from the “A” players, less qualified staff is chosen because they have the time. If it’s not hard, you probably picked the wrong people.

While technical expertise in the solution would be beneficial, it is the knowledge of the organization and its processes that is crucial for these team members to bring to the project at the start.  Technical skills can be learned, and any enterprise system deployment expects to train implementation project team members.

As it is likely that there will not be enough team members internally, it is common to ask for help. Bringing in experienced consulting resources is a great way to round out your team. They will bring with them not only technical skills but also a wealth of experience from their prior projects that can provide invaluable perspective and insights into decisions throughout your project.  Finding the right balance of internal and external project team members is, therefore, an important consideration.

Don’t forget to look to the future. While consulting help can be invaluable to fill in gaps in your project team and contribute their knowledge, think about how you will support your system in the long term.  Major system deployments are a great opportunity to hire less experienced resources who can shadow those that are more experienced and learn the skills required to maintain and enhance the system after the implementation project team has disbanded.

As an example of this approach, Optimum offers an incredible program called CareerPath that takes talented recent college graduates and teaches them the soft skills and technical skills required to implement ERP and EHR solutions, then finds them opportunities to join hospital project and support teams.

If you are about to embark on a major software deployment, carefully consider the right mix of skills, experience, and knowledge that will lead to its success. Make the hard decisions to commit to the best talent your hospital can offer while supplementing them with those who have been through many similar projects. The right team can, and likely will, be the difference between success and failure. Contact the Optimum Healthcare IT team today for guidance on how to build your best project team.

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Brian Rosenberg

ERP Strategist

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