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The project aims at creating a mobile health promotion unit (MHPU) that is designed to spread awareness about the dangers of heart disease and provide preventative care to patients with limited access to healthcare. The proposed name of the MHPU is “Hearty Bus” due to the central features of the vehicle. It is a non-profit endeavor that aims to provide healthcare services in rural areas to people with decreased mobility, low level of income, and age 65 or older in partnership with American Heart Association (AHA).
The goals are to increase awareness about heart disease, improve access to preventative care and patient education, and enhance the availability of acute care services. The determined objectives are to find financial support, develop a comprehensive marketing campaign, and create an effective prevention and education programs. In short, “Hearty Bus” is expected to become an efficient way of improving population health status.
The project is designed to last for a year starting on July 1, 2019, and closing on July 1, 2020. The preparation stage will last until January 14, 2020, and will include building a project team, developing a business plan, registering an LLC, getting appropriate financial support, setting up the MHPU, and hiring staff. During the implementation stage, the vehicle will provide services in different locations according to the elaborated schedule.
The overall cost is expected to be around $1,300,000, and the staff will consist of a project manager, an operations manager, a finance manager, an HR manager, four registered nurses, and two drivers. The project’s feasibility is ensured by the partnership with AHA since it will provide significant financial and administrative support throughout the execution of the project.
The project is expected to face some typical and unique challenges due to its critical characteristics. According to Livesey (2016), one of the most frequent problems that a project manager (PM) may meet lies in building a cohesive team. Indeed, PMs often have limited time for building an efficient team with little possibility to test the skills of key team members. Moreover, the temporality of the endeavor hampers the development of positive relationships and shared values and norms (Livesey, 2016). The proposed project is not an exception since the schedule allows only two weeks for the initial team setup and two months for hiring and training other team members. One of the ways to overcome the problem is to use team building techniques designed and shared by experienced PMs.
Another challenge that is typical for non-profit projects is acquiring sufficient funding. Since the project is not expected to earn any money, the only thing that may be offered to the investors is advertising. Even though “Hearty Bus” will work with AHA, which is expected to become the primary sponsor, the financial question may also become a problem for the project team. The situation will depend on the negotiations with the potential investors in August-September, 2019.
The key to prevent financial issues is utilizing the experience of similar endeavors and closely following the AHA guidelines to avoid losing the partnership. Even though the project is not exclusive in its nature and the methods of attracting finances have been explored before, every project is unique to some extent and may encounter economic challenges.
The characteristics of the proposed project hint at another problem that may become central during the implementation stage. “Hearty Bus” is a mobile unit, and it will travel from one location to another every week. Since the MHPU is expected to stay in one place for a limited time to cover as much of the target population as possible, patients may not have enough time to get to know about the services of “Hearty Bus.” As a result, MHPU may face the problem of insufficient patient flow. The way to address the situation is organizing an effective marketing campaign. Additionally, the MHPU may revisit locations every six weeks to let the first patients spread the word about its services. In summary, the issue requires close attention while elaborating a roadmap and making schedules.
Effective project execution is impossible without proper control over progress. The most efficient way of evaluating the current state of matters is by applying earned value management (EVM) metrics, which is defined as the budgeted cost of the work performed (Larson & Gray, 2018). The primary way to track the process of the project will be through a Gantt chart created in Microsoft Project. This diagram allows visualization of the process and understanding of how one event may affect the others. The metric may be shared among team members during meetings or online to help them to be aware of the current performance of the project. Since the chart is constructed automatically, the information is always up-to-date.
The PM is also expected to use performance metrics to report objective data to the key stakeholders. Cost performance index (CPI) measures the cost efficiency of the product and is calculated by dividing the earned value (EV) by the actual cost of the work completed (AC). The index will be evaluated weekly and posted online since it is treated as the most accurate, reliable, and stable (Larson & Gray, 2018, p. 476). Continued assessment of this coefficient will enable the PM to address one of the challenges mentioned in the previous section, as it helps to avoid financial problems. In short, CPI is expected to become valuable metrics for controlling the performance of “Hearty Bus.”
As a supplement to the visualization provided by the Gantt chart, scheduling performance index (SPI) will also be used. SPI is estimated by dividing earned value by planned value (PV) of work scheduled. This metrics evaluates scheduling efficiency and shows how much money worth of work has been accomplished for each $1 worth of scheduled work (Larson & Gray, 2018). Even though the value may be estimated by looking at the Gantt chart, SPI is a more efficient way of reporting progress to investors.
Closure is a vital part of any project that is often left out from planning. The example of a proper closure process is described by Zohrehvandi, Khalilzadeh, Hajizadeh, and Cheraghi (2017) and illustrated in Figure 1. To end the project, a PM must carefully prepare for the process, set closing requirements, make closure confirmation statements, and then proceed to contract, financial, physical, and legal closure. Since every project is a source of learning, a final report on “Hearty Bus” will be written and archived together with other documents for future use. Below are recommended the steps of completing the closure process.
- Create a comprehensive plan of the process;
- Send out closure notification to all the stakeholders;
- Set the closure requirements;
- Make closure confirmation statement;
- Initiate contract, physical, and financial closure;
- Proceed to legal closure;
- Gather and document the feedback about the project;
- Archive all the related documents;
- Celebrate the success of the endeavor.
Larson, E., & Gray, C. (2018). Project management (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Livesey, P. V. (2016). Insights of project managers into the problems in project management. Construction Economics and Building, 16(1), 90-103. Web.
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Zohrehvandi, S., Khalilzadeh, M., Hajizadeh, M., & Cheraghi, E. (2017). Planning project closure phase in combined cycle power plant projects. Procedia Computer Science 121, 274–281. Web.