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For all CIOs, Directors, and Managers who have more projects than you have resources, this tip is for you.

As a consulting firm, we strive to look for ways where we can be most effective. We’re constantly looking at the issues that IT leadership faces, trying to determine how we can make a positive difference. The solution was simpler than we thought.

We recently interviewed 100 Healthcare IT leaders and asked them how many “projects” they had on their plates for the year. We defined “project” as an upgrade or new install, something that was significant in that it required a plan, design, testing, and some level of activation support (i.e., installing MS Word did not count!) – 83 – That’s right… the average number of projects on an IT department’s plate for the year is 83!!!

If this sounds like you, then read on… When are consultants used – and why? As a consulting firm, we are typically utilized for our specific expertise with a product line – GE, Epic, Siemens, Cerner, McKesson. We’re usually brought in to handle the high visibility projects, and this seems to be the norm for most firms. Yet over the years, we have seen that these big projects suffer, not from a lack of manpower, but from a lack of AVAILABLE manpower. And why is that? Because most of their team is juggling 3 or 4 of the other 83 projects at the same time, and simply can’t devote full attention to the bigger systems.

So here’s where the simple solution comes in. Consider using consultants to come in and help you tackle some of the smaller projects to free up your staff. Most consultants, while skilled in specific big hitter systems, are brilliant analysts, capable of running with nearly any type of IT project. They are good utility fielders who can work a multitude of positions. Don’t start a big project without the full support of your own internal star players.

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