In a previous blog post, we shared key steps to a successful digital pathology system implementation. This is the second article of a two-part series designed to assist you in managing the whole process.
Now that you have completed your project charter, selected your team, and created your timeline, you are ready to begin the work of your project. Today’s healthcare professionals are overwhelmed with multiple projects, overbooked calendars and crushing workloads. The success of your implementation will be dependent upon your commitment, a clear project plan and your ability to engage your team’s commitment to the success of your project.
Managing the Process
The planning and execution of your project are critical to its success. A project of this scope is likely to take several months to complete. A project plan with clear timeframes and deadlines provides a structure for success.
- Draft a Project Plan.
- Define your communication plan.
Insist on Accountability.
- Define the meeting schedule at the start of the process and adhere to it.
- The project leader sets the agenda, although input from others is encouraged.
- Assign responsibility for project tasks with a timeframe for completion.
- Action items, i.e. project assignments, their responsibility & their timeline, should be reviewed at the close of each meeting.
Be Disciplined. Do not get distracted.
- Set a meeting schedule and stick to it.
- Whenever possible, send the project meeting agenda out to team members two business days in advance. This reminds them of the tasks for which they are responsible and allows them to complete any last minute details.
- Keep the project focused. Out of scope items should be placed in a “parking lot” to be addressed at another time.
Document the team’s work.
- Provide meeting notes regularly documenting the progress reported at the meeting.
- Keep your task list up to date. Note completed items, pending items and any delays as well as the reason for any delays.
- Report progress regularly to the project team, external stakeholders and other interested parties.
- Post updates to keep staff informed of your progress.
- Celebrate Your Milestone Achievements!!!
A project of this scope is an ambitious undertaking, but the rewards of success are great. As the utilization of your digital pathology system increases, faculty and staff will gain confidence in the system and in their ability to maximize its potential.
Digital pathology is experiencing explosive growth. By using a systematic approach and standard project management principles, you will position your department and your pathologists to be able to take advantage of all your digital pathology system has to offer.
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