Nov 6, 2013

Finalist Profile: Infoway Builds a Freeway to a Healthy Future for Canadians

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin | 0 Comments

“We know that this is going to benefit future generations."

The top three finalists have been named in the 2013 PMO of the Year Award! We are profiling these finalists (in alpha order) this week. Come to the PMO Symposium to attend the award ceremony and discover the winner and runners-up. Or stay tuned for the news to be released the week of Nov. 11th.

Remote villages in Canada’s northern reaches can be hundreds of miles from the nearest healthcare facility. But thanks to the work of Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), now a doctor can be as close as a click.

An independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Canada, Infoway jointly invests with its provincial and territorial partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health solutions across the country. They help to deliver better quality and access to care for improved health, and more efficient delivery of health care for patients and clinicians.

To deliver on this promise, Infoway plays the role of ‘Strategic Investor’ to plan, invest, advise, and monitor projects that are managed and implemented with its partners – provincial/territorial Ministries of Health and other public sector entities such as hospitals and health regions.  By using project management best practices and standards, treating the investments as projects with defined scope, schedule and budgets, Infoway is able to track the funds from approval through to closure and provide status updates at any point in the process.

Central to these efforts is the Portfolio Management Office, headed by Group Director Rose Ann Radosevic, pictured below with her team (left to right, Laura Bright, Rose Ann Radosevic, Jane Holden (Executive Director, Investment Programs Management), Vania Chopra, and Lise Lefaive.)

Radosevic explained the role of the PMO this way:

“We do not manage or implement projects ourselves. Our responsibility is to make sure the portfolio is moving forward to meet objectives. Before we enter into a legal agreement with partner organizations, we make sure they are ready to proceed. One way we do this is to break projects into phases – make sure they have the resources and are ready to move forward. This is Phase Zero – and that is treated as a project in itself. Phase 1 is the planning phase, in preparation for the Phase 2 implementation. We have an analysis process that is reviewed by a risk management specialist. This phasing strategy  minimizes risk.”

Q: Do you take a role in project selection?

“Our role is a support role. We have a formal approval process – there are approval templates, a specific approval body— we present the completed templates to the Operations Management Committee and sit in on their meeting. One take away from that meeting is a list of action items to be entered into the PPM solution. Keeping this process documented and detailed is very critical from an audit and business continuity perspective – these are public funds, remember. “

The PPM solution Radosevic mentions is a story in itself.  Since 2005, the Infoway project portfolio has increased four-fold, and the value of the projects has increased by a factor of six. By 2008, it had become apparent that having multiple data sources within the organization was problematic from the perspective of accuracy, efficiency and the ability to absorb changes in Infoway’s business.  A single source of truth was needed.  Together with input from a cross-functional working group, a business case was developed and subsequently approved by the Executive Management Committee. Ultimately, Changepoint was selected as the software solution and Infoway’s largest ever internally-facing information technology initiative began.

An ambitious three-month timeline was established for the first phase of the Changepoint implementation that included software configurations, electronic workflow and change management to reflect existing processes that supported user adoption. In the end, the implementation was delivered on time and on budget, winning the project team the CEO’s “Team of the Year Award” for 2008-2009.

Q: You must have a pretty robust organizational change management process to bring the PPM implementation in so smoothly.

“We were helped by the fact that it was obvious to everyone that the change was badly needed. It had gotten to the point where we were limited in what we could accomplish by the technology we were using. So much effort was going into status reporting.

“It was not just a question of installing new software, it was truly moving the organization from the existing tools onto a new platform and changing people’s work habits. We migrated all the data also, within that three-month timeframe. But we had strong processes going into it. We had a representative group select the software product.  We had a formal change management strategy and plan. Our Communications department worked closely with us as part of the team.

“We held fun contests … our strategy for getting buy-in was ‘cheap and cheerful.’ Remember these are public dollars so we don’t spend a lot of money on marketing internal projects.

“We rolled out in stages, by region, the first region (Ontario) was brought on line, then one month later, the next region and so on. And we used feedback from each of these regions to make improvements before the next region rolled out.

“Still, it’s hard to believe we did all this in three months. Everyone worked extremely hard … 17 hours a day is not an exaggeration.”

Becoming a finalist in the PMO of the Year Award is not the only reason Radosevic feels their hard work has paid off.

“We know that this is going to benefit future generations. We are already leveraging technology to optimize health care time and resources … we look forward to our projects continuing to improve the health of Canadians.”

Next: A unique PMO configuration that includes agile sourcing and business intelligence puts this commercial real estate management firm in the top three PMOs for 2013.



(No ratings yet)


No comments yet. Be the first one!

Leave a Comment

search blog:

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Most Recent Posts
Blog Authors

view all authors

Blog Archives

Other project management blog sources: