This Guest paper was submitted for publication in July 2020).
It is copyright to Mary Walton, 2020.
Published here October 2020.

Introduction | Project Management and Health Policies
High Stakes and Beneficiaries | Stakeholders and Flexibility
Benefits of Project Management by Planning and Budgeting
Benefits in Processes, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Best Practices for Healthcare Project Managers | Conclusion

Stakeholders and Flexibility

4.  Diverse stakeholders

Project management in the hospital involves different stakeholders. Some projects require permission from state and national governments, hospital boards, administrators, providers, and patients. They are the wide pool of "approvers" that have an interest in the projects because they represent the society at large. Not only that, but projects in healthcare can also sometimes be an emotive issue for the public.

Source: [2]

Every upcoming project manager should be ready to dabble into politics. This includes both actual and professional politics. Stakeholder support is critical to your success, and you need to establish a long-term relationship with them. You can use the following three strategies to achieve this:

  • Identify the Stakeholders: Before you can engage anyone, it is important that you identify the stakeholders that are important to the success of the project and are equally influential. These stakeholders can be healthcare providers, senior consultants, state legislators, or even patients. You need to concentrate your efforts on those that wield the most power and influence.

    They are known as champions, and they will help promote the project and ensure its sustainability by managing the expectations of their other stakeholders. After identifying them, you should list them according to those that have the power to define your project and those that can help you move it forward. You should also know that they can help in providing feedback and offer comments and suggestions on the necessary areas that need improvements.
  • Establish Relationships: Establishing good relationships with diverse stakeholders is important to the success of your projects. Developing a good relationship leads to trust. When there is trust, people find it easy to work together. Fostering relationships with keyholders will increase confidence in your projects, reduce uncertainty, and also fast track problem-solving and decision making. Make sure this relationship is the best it can be.
  • Communicate Regularly: You can secure and maintain stakeholders' support through constant communication. By maintaining good communication, project managers can establish themselves as a source of information about their projects. It is not about the amount of time you spend talking, itis quality interaction that makes all the difference. Great relationships are built through quality, one-on-one conversations.

    It is also important that you communicate with clarity and sincerity. Send monthly or bi-weekly reports of the projects that you are handling. Communication helps you to earn their trust and respect.

5.  Be flexible

Regardless of how good you structure your projects, there will still be some challenges, and you need to be flexible to respond well to those challenges. If you are too rigid as a project manager, your projects will probably fail. Your interpersonal and problem-solving skills should set you apart. These challenges are quite normal because healthcare projects are often complex. The ability to respond quickly and be flexible is what differentiates great project managers from ordinary ones.

High Stakes and Beneficiaries  High Stakes and Beneficiaries

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