Stephan brings his detail-oriented mindset to the management of projects across the country. In a short amount of time, he was promoted to the project management ranks and runs multiple threads within multi-million dollar programs for healthcare systems and hospitals.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m a project manager for a healthcare IT consulting company. I put together staffing models, project plans, risk assessments, and provide on-site coordination for certain client implementations. I’ve worked on small projects that last 1-2 months and large-scale roll outs that span over a year.
Any given day, I’m managing people, budgets, processes, approvals, customer issues and product development to ensure we successfully deliver our solutions on time and on budget. Travel was originally 50% but has increased since I’ve taken on bigger projects.
WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING?
Nothing ever goes according to plan. There’s a big difference in what we put down in Excel or Project and what actually goes on during implementations. Our company has set methodologies that allow for flexibility, but a lot of the tweaking, adjustments, and coordination on-site falls on the project manager.
I’ve been learning to adapt and come up with new strategies quickly to accommodate different situations and our client needs. As someone who is very detail oriented, and slightly OCD, I’ve been learning which battles to fight and when to just go with the flow.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
6:15 AM – I get a wakeup call from the hotel phone and get ready for work. I’m scanning emails on my phone to see if everything is still status normal.
7:15 AM – I meet with one of the trainers in the hotel lobby and we both get a quick breakfast and coffee before heading to the client site. As she begins to set up the classroom for training, I fire up the laptop and begin looking through the project schedule. I need specific updates on some action items that were due this morning.
8:00 AM – As the training kicks off, I sneak into another room in the hospital to take a couple calls. I’m always squatting in other people’s offices at client sites. One of the client managers that is currently training offered up her office for me to use.
8:35 AM – Still on our weekly update call with my director and other project managers throughout our region. There are a few software updates that will be pushed out next week that we need to be aware of. We’ve all known this for some time so it’s no surprise. A Sales Executive jumps on the call and needs helps to put a project plan together for one of his pursuits. I volunteer to help since I have some extra time this afternoon.
10:00 AM – I lead a kickoff meeting as part of Phase II of the project that begins this week. This includes more of the IT side of the house. It’s a smaller group of IT staff, the IT director, and the CIO. We’re standing up the health information exchange remotely and will begin interface testing next week. I review the project plan, responsibilities, lines of communication and expectations/milestones for the upcoming week and month.
11:00 AM – I stick around the conference room and continue fielding questions and meeting some of the end users and managers that will be involved.
12:00 PM – I head over to the hospital cafeteria to get a quick lunch. The trainer and another consultant from our company sit together among all the hospital staff. We try not to talk about work too much.
1:00 PM – I’m on a call with the Sales Executive and Solutions Architect for a new pursuit. They need a draft staffing and implementation plan for a new facility with 30 employed doctors. I know they will need specific approvals before finalizing their proposal. I’ll have to work quickly to get my part done for them so they can move to the next step in the sales process.
3:00 PM – I take the afternoon to follow up on some support tickets that are pending a resolution. One issue has been in the queue for a week with the software vendor. They’ve escalated the problem, but have not found the right fix. I also answer other emails and begin work on the staffing and project plan for the Sales Executive.
4:30 PM – I walk into our update meeting with the client. The managing consultant leads most of the meeting and provides updates to the VP of Operations and the CTO. There were a couple of emergencies on the client side so a few key attendees don’t show up. We end the meeting early and will send updates to the others.
5:30 PM – I get back to the hotel and get room service. I want to finish up most of my work tonight because I spend the day traveling back home tomorrow. I have two connections to get to my final destination.