The 2017 report by the Project Management Institute (PMI) outlined an anticipated demand in highly skilled Project Managers by 2027 and projected a significant increase in Project Management roles in the HealthCare industry.
Given the anticipated demand, and the current and future challenges in HealthCare worldwide, an international group of people with significant experience in Medicine, Public Health, Health Informatics and Project Management and with a strong desire to help improve the quality of delivery of diverse health and medical projects, formed the International Institute of Medical Project Management (IIMPM).
This initial collaboration of Medical Project Management (MPM) experts in 3 countries acted as a foundation Advisory Board that saw value in standardising terminology and encouraging education in MPM across the world. The IIMPM was formed to become a certifying body and to endorse what are referred to as Accredited Training Providers – those whose programs met the quality standard for training people in MPM.
Fundamentally, we are all committed to the discipline of Project Management and to ensuring that the best technical, leadership and strategic management skills are brought together in developing high-performance MPM’s.
Our Vision is for a worldwide association of Medical Project Management experts – combining both health and medical experts and professional project managers. We aspire to provide education, internationally-recognised qualifications, global certifications and ongoing support to build Medical Project Management competency and promote expertise. The current Advisory Board members have a long-standing and diverse expertise in MPM which they have developed over decades of service in a range of disciplines and in both senior government and private sector roles.
At a minimum, we expect a MPM to apply project management principles and practices to enhance the delivery of health and medical services. We certainly want more skilled people to become globally recognised MPM’s and to make a significant and unique, indeed the best possible, contribution to the health of individuals and populations in all countries. Regardless of the country’s GDP and available resources.
Whilst the medical profession and the role of project managers are not new, indeed one may say they are thousands of years old, we believe there is an increasing interest in applying more traditional project management training to the health and medical fields. We want highly skilled people to lead health and medical projects by understanding the wider knowledge areas of traditional project management and having a good understanding and focus on the challenging health and medical issues in the 21st Century.
Population-based health and medical organisations are needing to improve their processes to stay competitive and to better focus on balancing human resources, organisational resources and uses of technology. Process improvement comes from understanding how all the project management knowledge areas can be applied and seeing where beneficial changes can be made.
The PMI endorsed project management discipline comprises ten knowledge areas: integration management, scope management, schedule management, cost management, quality management, resource management, communications management, risk management, procurement management and stakeholder management. A MPM should be educated in them all and be able to plan and execute more complex projects that require a project team. As more team members are engaged, there is a greater need for the MPM to understand the process, to best allocate work and to track individual and team performance.
As health professionals need to become more technologically savvy, with significant changes in medical practices that incorporate technology and other innovative advances, the skills of a MPM will change. Traditional project management has always had a focus on technology and process improvement, but the modern MPM requires a focus on process efficiency and the best use of technology that will enhance the work being done. Ideally so that all people can realise benefits from the HealthCare innovations that are now available.
In summary, individual and population-based healthcare is now requiring project managers who are more technically savvy and also have a deeper appreciation for the health and medical project ‘process’. In addition, we need healthcare organisations that can work more effectively through process improvement and technology adoption using many of the high-demand “soft skills”.
Healthcare is one the largest and most diverse industries in the world. There is certainly going to be a need for significant number of skilled and transformative MPM’s well into the future. Our dream is for a much more diverse and highly skilled MPM workforce to help make the difference that is much needed in HealthCare across the Globe.
(1) You can access the Project Management Institute paper at https://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/job-growth-report.pdf