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Flying Solo

March 11, 2009
by Pete Rivera
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When budgets get tight the first reaction is to cut as much as you can from your project budget. One of the first things to go is your external resources. Vendor added resources, external consultants and additional module effort aimed at proving "value added" to the organization.

IT projects are tricky enough, without adding to your own stress level. Balancing daily customer support requirements while implementing a new solution requires additional resources. No doubt about it. So why do organizations think they can support an EMR or Practice Management project on their own?
Have you experienced a successful project implementation with just internal resources? As an IT Director I spent most of my time battling the silos instead of managing the project. The political landscape often dictates what can be accomplished during the project, not what is best to maximize the ROI of your IT investment.

I am seeing firsthand the effects and having to assess the damage from various clients that decided to Fly Solo during a project. Sure, you can call Air Traffic Control for advice, but there is something to be said about having a seasoned Airline Pilot in the right seat.



I think you've made some extremely important points here. For CIOs to be effective, they've got to have support. I think this tension between the need to look carefully at budgets and the need to be effective in current implementations will probably continue for quite some time, unfortunately.
Mark Hagland

Pete. We absolutely saw this coming. A bad economy hurting hospital budgets, which would cause consultants to get cut from projects. Without consultants, more projects would fail. Thus, our theory of what was going to happen has been confirmed by your findings in the field. This will be bad for everyone, from the CIOs to the vendors, to the consultants. Of course, they will have to be called to put the pieces back together once a project is in tatters.

I don't like doing project Postmortems because everyone is looking for blame. Fortunately your right Anthony, most now are looking to put the pieces back together. At a higher cost of effort.