How Project Information Management Can Take Tips from Healthcare Design
A transformation has taken place within patient room design to help hospital staff perform their tasks more efficiently—all in an effort to respond to patient needs more effectively. The key to that solution was to first recognize existing hospital room challenges:
- Caregivers must be able to navigate the space quickly and efficiently
- The room must be comfortable and calming to the patient
- Family and other visitors must have an area to sit and sleep without disrupting staff workflow
Architects and engineers have studied the workflows of all affected parties to determine designs that would accommodate these three very different functions within the same space.
Consistency is Key
Let’s take a moment to focus on the efficiency of the caregiver—and how that thought process relates to managing your project information across all of your company’s projects.
Patient room design has shifted to a complete mirror-image layout which offers caregivers consistency, allowing them to focus on the patient and the bigger picture. Results of this layout revealed fewer errors, less wasted time and more efficiency than with mirror-image rooms.
How does this relate to project information?
Just as healthcare professionals are tending to multiple patients during their shifts, AEC professionals often juggle two or more projects throughout the course of a single day.
More often than not, project-related information is primarily housed within network folders. But are those files set up consistently across all projects? How easy is it to transition from one project to the next, finding the information you need within a matter of seconds or minutes?
With a consistent filing structure in place, your teams can find the documents they need quickly—saving valuable time that can be better spent on designing better projects.
Bring order to unstructured information and project chaos
Challenge the Status Quo
In recent years, hospital systems have turned their attention towards patient satisfaction. The design and construction industry can play a part in improving patient care as well. By studying the workflow of the patient rooms, architects can design a building for operational efficiency as well as for patient well-being—all of which helps increase patient satisfaction.
For example, divide patient rooms into three zones, each addressing a need for three different audiences: the staff, the patient and the visitors. Staff need access to equipment at the room’s entrance to foster their efficiency in performing tasks. The patient resides comfortably in the center. Lastly, visitors are encouraged to sit in the back of the room where their presence won’t disrupt the patient’s care.
How does this relate to project information?
Similarly, we can divide every person associated with a given project into three general categories: the super user, the project manager and the executive. Not everyone on your projects needs access to the same information, nor will they access that information in the same way.
As such, it’s important that project information can be found easily through ways that are intuitive to them. Let’s dive into how Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) accommodates professionals from within each general category.
The Super User: The Project Team
An example of this person is someone who is in the weeds of the project, who knows all of the details inside and out. Perhaps it’s the project architect or engineer doing most of the heavy lifting on a project. They could cite any piece of project information within a matter of seconds. Better yet, they live in Deltek PIM. They know how to properly publish documents and how to find said documents at a moment’s notice.
The Project Manager
The project manager’s role is to ... well, manage the project. Surrounded by a team of extremely competent design professionals, the project manager guides the design direction and makes the critical decisions along the way. He relies on his team to know the details and to bubble issues that need addressed to the surface.
What’s more, his focus is on the performance of the job. Are the right resources available to adequately design the project? Is the project within budget or on schedule? More than likely, he lives within the project’s accounting and resource planning (ERP) software solution (i.e., Deltek Vantagepoint) to monitor those precise details. When he needs to find a document, he never has to step foot outside of Deltek Vantagepoint in this example. Because Deltek PIM is integrated with Vantagepoint, the project manager can quickly search for the document in question with only a key word and a couple clicks of the button.
The project executive is generally only involved in a project when it relates to legal issues such as signing contracts. Often, his time is spent fielding emailed questions and issues through Microsoft Outlook. He isn’t going to bother with knowing the details of every corporate project nor is he going to be adept to finding information within Deltek PIM.
But because Deltek PIM is seamlessly integrated with Outlook, the project executive can find what he needs from within his email application. It’s almost like the information is being delivered directly to his inbox. But just like the project manager, it only takes a key word or two and a couple of clicks to find the latest legal document to email the client—all without ever leaving Microsoft Outlook.
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About the Author
Linda Dininger spent over 20 years creating marketing content for architecture, engineering and construction firms. She also is a former Deltek Vision user and has implemented a CRM solution that transformed the way the business development group managed their contacts and pipeline. Now in product marketing for Deltek Project Information Management (PIM), Linda combines her knowledge of the AEC industry with the power that proactive information management can provide companies. Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.