Tickets tend to represent transactional work while projects represent multi-step work, which is often collaborative or dependent. Many organizations separate these work types and have an ITSM platform for tickets and then a separate Project Portfolio Management (PPM) system. What happens when you do this is that end-users have to go in and out of multiple platforms – further draining their time. The other bigger issue is that as an IT leader, you cannot properly manage your resources. If you bring it all together in one place, you will be able to engage in resource capacity planning which can help you optimize your use of resources and time.
At Covenant HealthCare, CIO Frank Fear recognized the value in having a combined ITSM/PPM strategy, “As the CIO, I have IT resources, and I need to assess their capacity,” he said. “I look at what capacity they have to work on projects, to work on change requests, to work on support requests. At the 40,000-foot level, having a comprehensive project management solution that also operates with the service management platform, allows me visibility for insight into those areas, and allows me to plan for project-based work based on the capacity to handle support requests and change requests.”
According to Fear, like many other businesses and organizations Covenant is becoming a digital business that provides healthcare, “Our customers need our support, so the demand is escalating and it’s only going to increase.”
Driving that increase, in part, for Covenant and hospital-based organizations nationwide, is the post-EHR (electronic health record) operation environment, “Just a small number of years ago, a relatively small percentage of patient care organizations in the United States had digital health records, so naturally, the first step was to implement EHRs… We’re now over 90 percent fully electronic in our processes. So now, we need to learn how to work differently, and we need to leverage information technology to help create those process and performance changes,” Fear said.
Because of the move towards a more digital experience, it’s more important than ever for Fear to be able to clearly articulate what his IT organization’s capability is when looking at the needs of the entire organization.
“IT service management and project management must be conceptualized at the highest levels of an organization, and must be governed actively and consciously, in close relation to the organization’s core business objectives and needs,” Fear said. And those needs continue to accelerate dramatically, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
“CIOs and other healthcare IT leaders can no longer rely on anecdotally based, guesstimated evaluations of needs and resources in their organizations,” Fear said. “A more evidence-based, quantifiable and quantifying, set of processes, is needed. An organized, comprehensive, strategic process of service management and project management needs to be delivered in an integrated way, via a flexible, supportive platform.”