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Tapping into the Power of Project Management in Behavioral Health

As a behavioral health professional, it’s easy to overlook that you are managing projects on a regular basis. Whether it is implementing a new service, updating company policies or opening a new office, all of these are projects to manage.

Understanding and using project management methodologies and tools can greatly enhance our ability to navigate these projects successfully, ensuring that no details are missed and surprises (like being over budget) are minimized.

In our June 15 workshop, we get into the nuts and bolts of project planning as a continuation of our workshop on Strategic Planning. We will use opening an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) as an example. (Attendance at the previous workshop on Strategic Planning is NOT a requirement to attend this one.)

At ENVIVE, we have successfully collaborated with numerous teams and individuals across diverse healthcare roles, empowering them to effectively manage their objectives through simplified project management tools and by teaching them some basic project management methodology.

After reviewing how a project plan works and helping them start by mapping their own project into a project plan, we immediately see the person’s or the team's stress levels are lower. (Their shoulders are not up at their ears and they genuinely look relieved.)

We also found that it provides clarity on what is top priority. A project plan makes it very clear what activities need to be done and when to move the project forward.

A project plan structure captures all the details. It is a record of all the activities of the project, when and how long activities will take, who will be accountable for the activities and if anything is dependent on something else before you can get started on it. (A bonus is now you have legacy documentation to kick start similar projects in the future.)

Projects often entail multiple team members plus subject matter experts, a variety of tasks, managing the budget, and a lot of communication. The bigger the project, the more complex managing all these details becomes. However, if you are a solo practitioner and the only person on your project team, a project plan can still be powerful.

A project plan and other project management tools are not difficult to use - you just need to understand how they work. The language of project management can also be useful. In project management we talk about dependencies, risks, issues, and activities vs. tasks - all words we know, but now they apply to new tools.

As I mentioned, on June 15 we start with the first of three workshops on project management as part of our Leadership Development Series funded by the New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Division. (Workshops are free for New Mexico-based behavioral health professionals AND each workshop offers 1.5 CEUs.)

Regardless of your title or credentials, we have designed these workshops for you - the behavioral health professional - to reach your goals with ease and clarity.

Our first workshop on Project Management Principles Is about the basics and focus is on the project plan. On July 20, we explore Project Planning Tools and how to use them as part of your project planning process. These tools include logs for documenting risks and issues, lessons learned and more. On August 17 we tie it all together with Project Management in Practice. For all three, we will use opening an IOP as an example.

We hope you can join us for all three, but it’s not required. Join us for any that you can. You can find out all the details here.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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