Healthcare News & Insights

3 steps to better resource management – and better organizational alignment

ThinkstockPhotos-494767687From electronic medical records to computer-assisted coding to clinical documentation solutions, technology has never played a larger role in patient care and healthcare operations, and that trend is sure to continue.

In this guest post, Kevin Kern, CEO of a cloud portfolio management solutions provider, highlights effective IT resource management which promotes the notion the right people are working on the right projects at the right time, which is essential to achieving a successful outcome.

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Managing IT resources is undoubtedly one of the most challenging aspects of a project manager’s role in hospitals. Yet with the significant amount of investment that goes into these important team members – training, evaluations and managing work — there needs to be more awareness that effective resource planning is in the best interest of the facility. This ensures a productive IT resource management effort.

Aligning technology, people, organizational goals

With the increasing levels of investment in technology solutions and projects, facilities are under greater pressure to deliver a higher output and return on those investments. But the lack of qualified people can be a significant hindrance. A recent survey showed that more than 60% of organizations said they don’t have enough resources to manage project demand, and resourcing was found to be the top challenge for most organizations.

Why?

Because people are the largest lever for making forward progress which makes them the most important part of your IT operation, and a lifeline to success for any technology implementation and maintenance project.

One of the primary reasons IT exists is to support the corporation as a whole, so it’s important that IT investments and efforts align closely with the key objectives of the organization. That starts with the effective allocation of available IT resources to complete projects that have been prioritized.

Tracking and managing resources relative to organizational priorities is non-negotiable, because this provides relevant visibility to C-level executives, board members and other key stakeholders. Visibility and proper execution help these entities better understand what IT can accomplish with the current available resources.

One of the most important aspects of the role of project manager is to keep resources actively engaged and working on the right projects to ensure that your organization achieves its goals.

Effective resource management strategies

Here are three strategies for more effective resource management, ensuring facilities not only have the required resources available, but that they’re focused on the right projects at the right time:

  1. Clearly define organizational goals and priorities. It’s difficult to hit an invisible target. So if your organization can’t articulate a vision beyond “getting more budget,” there’s not much to align with. Organizations want to make certain the resources available are working toward a common goal, and that there’s support for those goals. Transparency is preferred, and the more that can be shared with the team the greater the chance that true alignment will occur.
    Motivating resources starts with keeping them informed as to what they’re working toward and giving them a voice about how to accomplish the goals provided. Involving key individuals in the planning process facilitates creative thought to achieve the plan. We believe that support from the right people and functional owners will have a material impact to long-term satisfaction, and ultimately, success.
  2. Be realistic about what IT and current resources can actually accomplish. Demand and capacity is an age-old battle. Stakeholders seem to think the capacity is larger than those inside the organization. Clearly defining what resources can actually accomplish, and delivering on that promise, helps to set expectations for continued support and acknowledgement so budgets can be justified.
    It’s important to keep the flow of communication open to stakeholders, as well as the resources deploying the projects so everyone is aligned. This creates a culture of trust and enables organizations to address problems as they arise and avoid unnecessary escalation.
  3. Invest in your resources. Resources are your lifeline; embrace and support their efforts wherever possible. From an IT perspective, resources will always be your primary asset. Empowering them, communicating with them, and placing value on their efforts will always produce great results.
    IT leaders of today are expected to drive more value with less, and the competition to innovate continues to increase exponentially. Proper investment in resources while empowering them always creates a positive impact on any organization.

While the healthcare world is unique, it’s increasingly apparent that IT isn’t simply a function that supports the organization – it’s a critical component that provides for quality patient care. That’s why IT resource management continues to be essential, not just concerning individual IT projects, but to the ongoing success of any firm.

The faster project management leaders and other key stakeholders acknowledge the importance of effective IT resource planning, the sooner they’ll be able to realize greater productivity, true accountability and, ultimately, successful outcomes.

Kevin Kern is CEO of Innotas, a provider of cloud portfolio management solutions.

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