Healthcare Industry is one of the most volatile industries exposed to constant changes under the government’s ever-changing healthcare reforms. It demands better-equipped project management that quickly adapt to its changes and deliver work faster.
Agile project management is the best suitable approach to handle these huge healthcare projects. It follows an iterative approach that breaks large projects into more manageable tasks tackled in short iterations or sprints.
Agile project management helps the project teams to have shorter development cycles, followed by more frequent product releases.
So let’s focus on the main points that make agile practice conducive to any given projects:
Tools and Technologies
Agile project management offers tools and techniques that will help project managers in leadership positions to deliver results efficiently. The first things that come to mind when practicing agile are the various tools like scrum, kanban, sprints, burndown charts, velocity, etc. which helps the project teams to be more productive and deliver on time. The most basic agile form of agile project management tools is the whiteboard and the post-it notes. Let’s look at the trending freely available digital tools that handle agile frameworks like scrum and kanban: Here are five free Agile project management tools: (Feb 01, 2020)
1. KanbanTool is used to review the visibility of the projects with the help of the Kanban board which consists of various story cards, time lanes color effects, etc this is a very basic project management tool, and it’s free up to two users and boards.
2. Pipefy tool can be used to create customizable workflows and it enables us to build kanban-style workflows. It doesn’t come with pre-designed project templates and is a free tool for up to five people
3. Wrike is used for managing both agile and traditional projects, it is a cloud-based tool and is also free and available free for five members.
4. Yodiz is a fully customizable project management tool, mostly used for agile projects for creating boards, layouts, adding customized fields, and more. this is a free tool for up to three users.
5. ZohoSprints is also used mostly by the agile teams, this a cloud-based project management tool and comes with all the advanced agile features including scrum boards. this is also free for up to five users.
Room for Innovation
The agile approach to project management helps to deal with multiple stakeholders and stagnant approaches. These are the ideal situations through which older problems can be handled efficiently with new technology embedded systems. Innovation can be perceived as something new and unique thinking that leads to significant discoveries, processes, and devices.
Agile bring innovation in business as it provides an edge to penetrate the market at high speed but also better ways to develop a market to generate bigger opportunities, especially in abroad countries.
Harvard business review (Darrell K. Rigby, 2016) states that John Deere uses an innovative agile approach to develop new machines, and Saab to produce new fighter jets. Also, a company called Intronis, a leader in cloud backup services, uses agile methods for implementing marketing strategies.
Speed to Market
Agile project management works on sprints, each sprint lasts three to four weeks. This makes it possible to deliver results quickly. According to the state of the agile 2020 report (14 annual states of the agile report, 2020), 70% of respondents cited that one of the critical measures of success with agile transformation initiatives is delivering projects at a faster pace. Agile encourages early and continuous delivery of software to satisfy the customer. Agile offers a set of tools that foster improved productivity, shorten the feedback loop and deliver based on value. Functionality is released incrementally accelerates the return of value from the government and citizens.
Cross-functional speed and collaborations make it possible for project managers in healthcare to deliver results at lesser costs. McKinsey & Company (2020) states that through agile adoption a global bank reduced its cost base by 30% so adopting agile doesn’t just help to make profits but saves them money, too creating a win-win situation.
Feedbacks and Changes
The agile approach is totally dependent on testing and feedback, using it issues about a sector can be easily addressed in isolation without disturbing the entire project cycle. The agile methodology was created so that project teams could collect and apply feedback as they worked simultaneously. The primary reason for teams to fail is because they don’t collect feedback at every stage instead wait until the end of the project to review their work. For an effective agile project development collecting feedback at every step is the key. Feedback collection should be an on-going process as its not a one-and-done task. Christopher Lomas (Lomas, 2018), a global digital strategy leader at Mercer, states that “Unless you get feedback on an ongoing basis, you risk building something your customers and stakeholders do not want or need”.
The availability of data will assist project managers to make better decisions in analyzing older records to get better insights regarding recurring issues. Most of the businesses are using agile principles to make sure data are available all the time. Mckinsey reports (Chiara Brocchi, 2016), “The companies that deploy agile data can gain drastic process and product improvements in a short span and can set the stage for future advances and experimentation in big data infrastructure”. Agile helps to create data lakes which are a repository for all structured and unstructured business information collected from the myriad systems located in different business units and functions in a company.
Top 7 methodologies or agile frameworks that you can choose from:
Kanban tool improves the visibility of the project and is managed through a kanban board. This tool divides every project into three main parts that are “to-do, “in-progress, and “done”.
Scrum has most of the features that are similar to a Kanban board, but scrum breaks down projects into sprints and helps teams to manage one sprint at a time. The sprints can be of one to four weeks depending on the projects. The scrum also has fixed roles like the scrum master, the development team, and the stakeholder.
Extreme Programming (XP) tool is used to manage agile projects and works on sprints like the scrum tool and thus its main advantage is it helps the team to deliver continuously and incorporate the correct customer feedbacks.
Feature-Driven Development (FDD) tool is also used for agile projects and also works based on sprints and follows a development and design cycle for every development phase.It breaks projects into five main parts that are:
- To develop an overall product model,
- Create a feature list
- Plan as per the list
Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) just like the previously mentioned tools like the Scrum, FDD, and XP this too works on sprints and is mainly used for rapid software delivery and handles the rework in the all the phases efficiently.
Lean Development tool is also used for agile projects and is useful when incorporating changes in the development phases. Its main principles are:
- Develop Quality Product
- Fast Project Delivery
- No Wastage
- Optimize the whole
So these are the most basic and important parts of agile project management.
- 14 annual state of the agile report. (2020, May 26). Retrieved from State of the Agile: https://stateofagile.com/#
- 15 Free Agile Project Management Tools for Your Scrum Team. (Feb, 01, 2020). Retrieved from https://www.daxx.com/blog/development-team/free-agile-project-management-tools-for-your-scrum
- 20+ Astonishing Agile Adoption Statistics for 2020. (2020, August 21). Retrieved from GoRemotely: https://goremotely.net/blog/agile-adoption/#:~:text=71%25%20of%20companies%20are%20adopting,has%20helped%2098%25%20of%20companies.&text=60%25%20of%20companies%20experience%20growth,federal%20IT%20projects%20adopt%20Agile
- Chiara Brocchi, B. B. (2016, December 2). Using agile to accelerate your data transformation. Retrieved from Mckinsey: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/using-agile-to-accelerate-your-data-transformation
- Darrell K. Rigby, J. S. (2016, May). Embracing Agile. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/05/embracing-agile
- Lomas, C. (2018, February 14). The Feedback Loop: Helping Agile Thrive in a Corporate Setting. Retrieved from usabilla.com: https://usabilla.com/blog/agile-feedback-corporate-setting