Industrial Strength Innovation Project Management

Industrial Strength

H. Dominic Covvey, National Institutes of Health Informatics

IS IPMSome time ago I wrote an article that addressed the management of innovation. I thought I would revisit a number of key points and add several along the way.

I’ll start this article the same way, by indicating my respect for the work of the Project Management Institute (PMI) in promoting the professionalism of project management (PM). Becoming PMI-certified is definitely a worthwhile effort.

Innovation Projects

However, much of what I have learned about PM from sources like PMI seems to focus on what I’ll call ‘Classic Project Management’, where the description of the work to be done is like a recipe for a cake or the plan for a standard building or vehicle. What about the situation where a project involves substantial innovation? This might be a project where important unaddressed issues are there at its initiation, where the project maybe exists in a changing or somewhat unstable context, and/or where the challenge the project is targeting hasn’t been faced before, and/or where the methodology for proceeding is still an open issue? I called projects like this ‘Innovation Projects’ or IP, which, not accidentally, has the same acronym as ‘Intellectual Property’…these projects often evolve such.

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The King is Partially Dressed: The Imperfect EMR

ImperfectEMR-Header

H. Dominic Covvey, National Institutes of Health Informatics

I thought it might be interesting to reflect on the place the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), the information center of the provider’s practice, has in the discipline of Health Informatics (HI) and what must be done with the EMR to make it really suited for prime time.

This may be obvious to many, but often one or more aspects of the challenge that the EMR represents appears to be forgotten or ignored. I can even go as far to say that virtually every sub-discipline of HI has something, and often a lot, to say about the EMR and how it needs to evolve. I won’t have the space here to go into each of these deeply, but I hope to make it clear that the EMR isn’t done and it ain’t easy! This should make it clear that a great deal more work needs to be done, even on the most advanced products, to realize our hopes and dreams about the EMR.

 

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Managing Innovation

Managing Innovation

InnovationHave you seen the ad on TV where the guy searches the basement and wall-spaces and discovers the couple “has bankers”? I sometimes wonder if the equivalent search in eHealth projects would end up with the discovery that we “have project managers”!

Over the years I have been a player in many projects, and, recently, most of these projects have had Project Managers. I would like to raise some issues regarding project management and get a conversation going about it.

Project Management Professionalism

First, though, I need to make it clear that I respect professional project management. Without it we would not get skyscrapers or airplanes built or systems implemented. I reserve particular praise for the Project Management Institute, which has performed a key role in professionalizing project management and in making quality training available. With my money, I would not hire a person to manage a significant project without that person at least being PMI-certified.

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