BEST PRACTICE PRODATA CONSULT MAGAZINE ABOUT IT, PROJECTS AND THE PEOPLE BEHIND THEM. 8, 2016
A GIGANTIC TASK Interview with Henning Trier, Head of IT development, Region Zealand
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Permanent staff consultants: An important piece in the strategic puzzle A strong team of permanent staff project and test managers has joined ProData Consult. Page 18
A gigantic task The implementation of the healthcare platform is a gigantic project which will change the course of healthcare history on Zealand. Interview with Henning Trier, head of IT development, Region Zealand. Page 8
Goodbye to old habits SĂ¸ren Truelsen, subprogram manager, implementation, the healthcare platform. Page 12
13.5+ million EUR worth of technology Tore Fribert, technical subprogram manager, the healthcare platform. Page 18
It's a brilliant system Tom Q. JĂ¸rgensen, program manager, the healthcare platform Page 4
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Best Practice 8 2016 Client magazine ISSN no.: 2245-6090 Legally responsible editor Søren Rode Editor Phillip Ørbæk Poe@prodata.dk Graphics and design Tina Lee Linnea Brix Journalist: Tina Lee Lærke C. Lindegård Phillip Ørbæk Photos Christian B / Yellows Anders Debel Hansen Publisher ProData Consult A/S Limited edition Print LaserTryk.dk Main offices ProData Consult Copenhagen Stamholmen 157 DK-2650 Hvidovre ProData Consult GmbH Karlsplatz 5 80335 Munich Germany ProData Consult Netherlands
Denmark's biggest healthcare IT project
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In this issue of Best Practice, you can read about Denmark’s biggest healthcare IT project – the healthcare platform. A project where several ProData consultants have key roles.
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The price tag on this historic project is DKK 2.8 billion (EUR 0,375 billion), and the objective is to standardize treatment of patients in the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand. When the new system is up and running, it will be a tool for 44,000 employees in the healthcare sector, and it will improve the treatment of 2.5 million citizens.
ProData Consult has had many different consultants working on the project during its lifetime, and right now four of our consultants are involved in the project, as program manager, subprogram manager and project managers at Region Zealand. We’ve spoken to them about their experiences with this huge IT project, and we’ve also chatted with IT Development Manager Henning Trier, who is in command of the healthcare platform at Region Zealand.
of permanent staff project and test managers, which has joined the ProData organization as part of the merger with Raft Consulting. The Product Team supports our ambition of delivering the best and most innovative services to our clients.
In this issue of Best Practice you can also familiarize yourself with the leading figures of our Danish Product Team. The team consist
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“IT'S A BRILLIANT SYSTEM” THE HEALTHCARE PLATFORM, DENMARK’S LARGEST IT PROJECT IN THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR, WILL REPLACE 30 SYSTEMS AND STANDARDIZE TREATMENT ON THE ISLAND OF ZEALAND. A BRILLIANT PROJECT, SAYS REGION ZEALAND’S PROGRAM MANAGER. Interview with Tom Q. Jørgensen, program manager through ProData Consult
50,000 descriptions of how to treat everythe healthcare platform will also eliminate thing from broken bones to blood clots have hundreds of smaller systems. As a consebeen boiled down to just 12,000 in the Capi- quence, the cost of running the hospitals in tal Region of Denmark and Zealand Region. the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Using the same guidelines, the same journal Zealand will fall dramatically. Workflows will and the same system be simpler, because ________________________________________ means that it will be it won’t be necessary easier to move staff to integrate with so "I only hope that it will become between hospitals many systems, which such a big success that it’ll be and regions and will improve patient implemented all over Denmark. optimize processes Denmark is so small that it would safety. The system further over time. integrates sevmake good sense to have the Even though the eral hundred medical same system." healthcare platform systems - the blood is the most expenbank, operating Tom Q. Jørgensen, program manager sive IT system in theatres, and so on Denmark, the people - in a single system, behind it are calculating that thanks to its which significantly reduces the risk of losmany advantages, costs will be recouped by ing data or getting patient data mixed up. around 2022. What’s more, data is available immediately. “It’s a brilliant system, and we should have started on it years ago. I only hope that it STAFF LOAN AGREEMENTS ENSURE KNOWLEDGE will become such a big success that it’ll be But before these benefits can be realized, implemented all over Denmark. Denmark is the healthcare platform needs to be rolled so small that it would make good sense to out in Region Zealand. This should proceed have the same system,” says Tom Q. Jørmore painlessly than the trailblazing process gensen, the program manager of the healthin the Capital Region of Denmark, which care platform for Zealand Region. lacked experience to draw on when the rollIn addition to replacing 30 large systems, out started. According to Jørgensen, Region
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Zealand is well-organized and efficient, and the goal is for the rollout of the healthcare platform to proceed in the most uniform possible way at all hospitals despite taking place over such a large geographical area. To ensure this, regional implementation groups with their own implementation coordinators have been formed. Each implementation coordinator is responsible for relaying standardized communication, training, readiness and technique to the individual hospitals. Within the healthcare platform, the region’s hospitals will function as a single hospital with many subunits. “Staff loan agreements have been made to enable Region Zealand to loan personnel to the Capital Region of Denmark, so that they can learn from the process and return to Region Zealand with important knowledge which they can contribute to the rollout,” explains Jørgensen. A large training program is being run parallel with the loan agreements. Jørgensen’s team will send about 20,000 people on courses in 2017 to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to work with the new system. Because this part of the project has a high priority, participation in the courses will be monitored closely.
A WELL-PREPARED ROLLOUT The major challenge will be handling patients during the implementation of the system. There will be a preliminary period of 14 days during which the hospitals will be on high alert, followed by a period of 4-6 weeks on extremely high alert. The actual conversion ____________________________________
"It takes a lot of lobbying and working to influence particular areas. Progress is measured differently here than elsewhere. There’s a lot of focus on making sure the political system is oriented about what’s happening." Tom Q. Jørgensen, program manager and startup will only take two days, during which the hospitals will be on high alert. Unlike the implementation at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, the system is already up and running. The server complex and operations have already been set up, and Region Zealand is already designing the servers, which are expected to be in place during the first quarter of 2017. The existing hardware at the individual departments has also been inventoried, and any necessary equipment will be purchased in February - May 2017.
Who’s Who Name: Tom Q. Jørgensen Age: 56 Education: MSc in Engineering, diploma degree in business administra- tion, degree in project management from Minneapolis/St. Paul University. BSc in psychology with a focus on management Title: Program Manager, Region Sjælland
Finally, Jørgensen’s team will perform a technical dress rehearsal to ensure that all clinical personnel are able to log in at every single department in the region.
LEADER AND LOBBYIST It was no accident that Jørgensen was selected as program manager for Region Zealand’s part of the project. Highly skilled project managers were high on the region’s wish list for external resources, and this description fits Jørgensen. In addition, he also has many years of experience both as a client and supplier to the public sector, for example from The Interior Ministry and the Danish National Police. This gives him the authority to keep a tight rein on a very large, complex project with many stakeholders and a hardcore business technology aspect. And lots of politics. “It takes a lot of lobbying and working to influence particular areas. Progress is measured differently here than elsewhere. There’s a lot of focus on making sure the political system is oriented about what’s happening. I have to demonstrate that I get a lot of decisions implemented. Instead of simply allocating budgets, I have to demonstrate that I’m spending the money as planned. There are a lot of stakeholders with different opinions, so it’s incredibly educational,” explains Jørgensen, who has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. He continues: “Textbooks are one thing, but seeing
people’s reactions in high-pressure situations is something else entirely. Their backgrounds play into their work, and it’s important to take this into account so that everyone gets a sense of being involved in an exciting project. If you do that, they’ll go the extra mile to reach the goal - and making that happen is a fantastic feeling.”
Facts about the healthcare platform • The healthcare platform is a EUR 0,375 billion IT system which will replace 30 major IT systems and hundreds of smaller systems. Approx. 44,000 hospital employees and approx 2.5 million citizens will make use of the new healthcare system • The healthcare system will be implemented at all hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand by 2018 • In May 2016, the system was implemented at the first hospital, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital
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A GIGANTIC TASK
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HEALTHCARE PLATFORM IS A GIGANTIC PROJECT WHICH WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF HEALTHCARE HISTORY ON ZEALAND. THE AIM OF THE PROJECT IS TO PURCHASE, CUSTOMIZE, IMPLEMENT AND STANDARDIZE AN ENTIRELY NEW SYSTEM FOR WORKING AND DOCUMENTING IN ALL OF THE HOSPITALS IN THE CAPITAL REGION OF DENMARK AND REGION ZEALAND. Interview with Henning Trier, head of IT development, Region Zealand
It has to be easier to do your work well. And so Region Zealand and the Capital Region of Denmark have joined forces to introduce the healthcare platform. A gigantic technical and change management project, which simply put involves implementing an American IT system at 17 hospitals across two regions. The healthcare platform is divided into three subprograms. The shared track: The healthcare platform – and two subprograms in each of the two regions. A total of about 500 people are working together to implement the healthcare platform. And the implementation of the healthcare platform will fundamentally change how healthcare professionals perform their jobs. The system is a new way of organizing the encounter with the patient, treatment and the management of the hospital. The healthcare platform unites all information about each patient in a single electronic medical record spanning the two regions. This gives healthcare personnel a better overview, greater patient safety and fewer errors during a course of treatment. Until now, Region Zealand and the Capital Region of Denmark have had separate IT
systems, and in both cases, the primary information about the patients is registered in a text record which often contain quite a lot of text, which can be difficult for personnel to process quickly in a hectic work environment. The healthcare platform is introducing
“It’s a huge change management project, and we’re not at the finish line yet. But this is where we can really make gains." Henning Trier, head of IT development
a system based on structured data, which is intended to make it easy for the clinics to get an overview of the patient’s medical records quickly. And so work processes have been analyzed, with assistance from healthcare personnel, in order to improve and standardize
the approach to treating patients across the two regions. In a democratic process, nurses, chief consultants, orthopedic surgeons and many, many more have voted for and against solutions with green and red cards – and have thus helped customize the American system to function in the Danish clinical reality. This has resulted in a patient medical record where it is no longer necessary for personnel to log prose descriptions of injuries or symptoms, for example a broken leg or a frozen shoulder. Instead, they tick boxes in a form, with the patient sitting right next to them. “It’s a huge change management project, and we’re not at the finish line yet. But this is where we can really make gains: we save time, fewer people need to be involved, and it increases patient safety,” explains Henning Trier, head of IT development in Region Zealand.
PROFESSIONAL SUPPLIER The American company Epic won the tender. Trier has only praise for the Americans, who have shown themselves to be extremely professional and willing to work in an agile
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implementing the system will be difficult. And so healthcare councils from all occupational groups have been asked to discuss the best way to work for each specialization. This was one of the first parts of Epic’s implementation. As Trier explains: “In choosing Epic as a supplier, we also purchased an implementation concept with a great deal of focus on making sure the solution has local legitimacy. That’s a good starting point for success.”
SLOW STARTUP It goes without saying that there are legions of challenges in such a large IT project, but one thing Trier has noticed in particular is that getting people up to speed was a slow process. It took five months to get people certified, during which the project practically ground to a halt. As Trier tells it: “Epic delivers a standard software project. Once it’s decided what extra features a department needs, they need to be added on, but to get access to customizing the system, you have to be certified as a ‘builder’ by Epic. This is a requirement they included in
the contract documents: They wanted to make sure that we knew what we were doing. Selected employees were sent on training courses and had three tries to pass an exam. Some of them didn’t pass, and so we had to send new ones for training.” All of the builders will be affiliated with a new form of system administration. With the old medical record system, you called the supplier and asked them to change things. Now the regions can make these changes themselves. “We’re saving a lot of money, but we will have to introduce a completely different form of system administration. The builders will be sent back to the regions when the program is finished, so that they can continue developing the system,” explains Trier. When the individual departments have finished their part of the system and the hospitals are up and running, there will be new ballots with red and green cards if something doesn’t work, because the goal is to maintain standardization across hospitals and regions.
Who’s Who Name: Henning Hoepfner Trier Age: 45 Education: MSc from the University of Copenhagen Title: Head of IT development, Region Zealand Has worked in IT since 1998, including 8 years in the private sector and the last 9 years for Region Zealand. Responsible for all of the region’s IT projects, and has a special task as head of IT development in connection with the healthcare platform. Is responsible for helping to ensure that it becomes a success, and acts as the intermediary between the program and the executive management of Region Zealand.
Facts about the healthcare platform • The healthcare system will be implemented at all hospitals and institutions under the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand by 2018 • Region Zealand will begin implementing the healthcare platform in November 2017 • The supplier Epic supplies solutions to over 1,100 hospitals all over the world
PROJECT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES Managing an enormous project like the healthcare platform is not for the weak of heart. Collaboration between two regions and 500 people involves a lot of cultural and professional differences, which has resulted in a fairly high rate of turnover. In 2014, Region Zealand assigned 12 of its own project managers to the project – two years later, there are just two left. Geography has been a contributing factor, as the project managers suddenly had to drive back and forth between Sorø and Copenhagen 3-4 times a week, an hour’s drive each way. What’s more, they became part of a large supplier organization, which requires a high degree of self-management, and that the employee goes back to his line manager in the region when challenges arise. The upshot was that the head of IT development has had to recruit external resources – with varying degrees of satisfaction so far: “It’s hard to find consultants who take ownership from day one. At the same time, the project managers often fall into one of two categories: either they are extremely skilled professionally and have no personnel management experience, or vice versa. If you’re a freelancer, you have to be extremely skilled. That’s my opinion, but it’s not always the case. It’s been a mixed bag, and I’ve had to send some of them home.” At the same time, Trier finds that consultants are bad at saying no. When a consultant is performing well, Trier delegates more task to him or her and asks if they can cope with more. “They say yes because they feel like they have to – but often I end up with bad quality work delivered. Very few say no, and it’s natural, but it’s not professional. I expect
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Goodbye to old habits THE HEALTHCARE PLATFORM WILL GIVE HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL, PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES BETTER AND EASIER ACCESS TO INFORMATION, AS WELL AS IMPROVING THE TREATMENT OF PATIENTS ON ZEALAND. Interview with Søren Truelsen, subprogram manager, implementation, through ProData Consult
But first, healthcare personnel in the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand will have to adjust to an entirely new way of working. Because the new IT solution will change the division of labor currently prevalent at the hospitals. As Søren Truelsen, subprogram manager for implementation at Region Zealand, explains: “It’s not an easy task: We’re changing traditions and attitudes which have a big influence on the day-to-day work of the personnel and which have existed at the hospitals for the past 50 years.”
BREAKING WITH OLD HABITS When the five hospitals of Region Zealand go live with the healthcare platform in late 2017, the healthcare personnel of the region will see the world through a different lens. The standard approach to change management is to provide information and assume that the next step will be acceptance. If this doesn’t happen, the advantages of the new solution are highlighted. But the healthcare platform presents a greater challenge, because it changes the division of labor among the hospital’s professional groups, which means that they have to change habits developed over decades of work
and organization. For example, doctors will no longer be able to sit alone and dictate information and later ask the secretary to update the patient’s journal. Now the doctor will have to document information in an online _____________________________
”A lot of new conditions can be prepared and planned, but we can only see where behaviors are taking place after the system goes live, so this is when the change management process really takes off.” Søren Truelsen, subprogram manager journal while in the presence of the patient. This is the greatest challenge. The workflows of the healthcare platform are based on the principle of recording data where it is generated, which requires a major change of attitudes in relation to the division of labor among professional groups at the hospitals. As Truelsen explains: “It’s about challenging habits, for example when we need to
convince a doctor that it makes sense for him or her to perform documentation in the presence of the patient. We can take the first steps along that path and communicate why the workflows make sense, but it’s going to take years to get everyone on board.” The first results from the hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark indicate that while younger doctors are more willing to rethink the division of labor and how they perform their work, the healthcare platform pushes everyone out of their comfort zone. Naturally, some doctors question why, considering their time costs more, they are being required to perform tasks their secretaries usually handle, with the result that they may have trouble treating the same number of patients, at least until the new workflows have become routine. These arguments must be addressed, in addition to the question of the new working relationships among professional groups. However, this is not done during the implementation phase, where the focus is on ensuring stable operations. “A lot of new conditions can be prepared and planned, but we can only see where behaviors are taking place after the system goes
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live, so this is when the change management process really takes off,” says Truelsen.
MANY COOKS On many projects, a few people determine the strategy for a change process, and selected key stakeholders are involved. The healthcare platform is different: a complex puzzle with a huge set of stakeholder pieces. This makes it impossible to simply set a course and command everyone to march in the same direction. Region Zea_____________________________
”The implementation project can’t simply decide how the implementation is going to proceed. We have to bring the relevant stakeholders from a wide range of focus areas together to make sure that we create consensus and share a common approach.” Søren Truelsen, subprogram manager land is one of just three principal stakeholders, and must cooperate with the hospitals and the program steering committee - in addition to all of the cross-regional functions. All have stakes in the project: from the financial administration department and personnel law to PFI, a cross-regional center which supports the entire organization and contributes to setting a strategic direction. As Truelsen explains:
Who’s Who Name: Søren Truelsen Age: 57 Education: MSc in strategic management Title: Subprogram manager, implementation Experience from Capgemini Sogeti, Arthur Andersen and other major consulting firms.
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“The implementation project can’t simply decide how the implementation is going to proceed. We have to bring the relevant stakeholders from a wide range of focus areas together to make sure that we create consensus and share a common approach. Because after all, the goal is precisely a uniform and standardized implementation at all of the region’s hospitals.”
FEWER GLITCHES - MORE OPINIONS The Capital Region of Denmark is implementing the system first, while the hospitals in Region _____________________________
”It’s such a big change, and there’s so much at stake. Just working together on the project is a complex challenge, but it’s exciting to be a part of, because the healthcare platform can ultimately make a big difference for patients.” Søren Truelsen, subprogram manager Zealand will first get started in earnest in November 2016. This is an advantage in relation to smoothing some of the glitches out of the implementation before the start gun sounds in Region Zealand. At the same time, delaying implementation also creates some challenges. “It’s a lot harder to manage the
communication aspect when the opinions of the personnel are being influenced by public debate and the opinions of professional organizations in the media. This is not the kind of change management communication we’re used to. One question is when to start, and another is whether Region Zealand should have an opinion about the Capital Region of Denmark – this is another huge challenge,” says Truelsen. The goal of the implementation team is to provide the most nuanced possible information about the functionality of the healthcare platform. At the same time, the various professional groups need to know that the system they are using isn’t necessarily the final version. The new healthcare platform is a dynamic, flexible system, and many adaptations can only be made after the individual specialists have gained handson experience and familiarized themselves with the many new possibilities offered by the system. As Truelsen describes: “We need user experiences, after which we will definitely find things in the individual specializations which can be improved. This is taking place right now in the Capital Region of Denmark at Gentofte and Herlev Hospital, where they’ve been working with the system since May.”
ONLY NECESSARY INFORMATION However, the major challenge is ensuring a holistic, cohesive approach across the en-
Søren Truelsen’s responsibilities on the healthcare platform project Søren Truelsen is subprogram manager for the overall implementation of the healthcare platform at Region Zealand’s four hospitals, psychiatric institutions, hospital pharmacy and five self-governing institutions. His subprogram includes four focus areas: · · · ·
Readiness and change management Training and support IT and technology Internal and external communication
3 valuable project management tips 1) When managing a project of this size, it’s extremely important to have structure and governance in place from day one. This allows everyone in the project to avoid a lot of confusion, frustration and discussions of how the setup should work. That said, there are usually political interests which must also be taken into consideration, and these aren’t dealt with just by having your governance and structure in place. 2) You have to quickly create a shared understanding of what the overall project is about. Almost all major stakeholders want the big picture: what the project means for them, what implementation tasks will affect them, and so on. The picture is constantly changing, so it’s difficult to give them an overview from day one. At the same time, there’s a lot of information which isn’t available, because the healthcare platform is under implementation at the hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark and won’t formally start implementation in Region Zealand until November. You also need to remember that we are becoming wiser along the way. The healthcare platform is constantly being improved through the experiences gained at Gentofte and Herlev Hospital, and the implementation concept will be evaluated and adjusted along the way. 3) When you have a large, complex project with a lot of people from a lot of organizations working together, breaking down and delimiting tasks into a manageable size is a necessity. When communicating how the project is to be performed, ensuring coherence and cohesion between the individual components is a challenging necessity.
tire organization, even while the implementation team immerses itself in different silos in connection with the daily tasks of the process. What motivates Truelsen are the people in the project: the healthcare professionals at the hospitals need to know what is expected of them, and how they will perform their jobs in future. For this reason, Truelsen’s goal is to provide only the absolutely essential information about the implementation process, while at the same time providing a clear picture of the future operating situation, in order to allow personnel to understand and discuss the new situation prior to startup. “It’s such a big change, and
there’s so much at stake. Just working together on the project is a complex challenge, but it’s exciting to be a part of, because the healthcare platform can ultimately make a big difference for patients. It’s not an easy solution, and it won’t be optimal from day one, but it’s a historic project which will change the foundation for providing better and more effective treatment going forward.”
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13.5+ million EUR worth of technology REGION ZEALAND HAS SPENT MILLIONS ON A HARDWARE TO UPGRADE THE HOSPITALS TO THE HEALTHCARE PLATFORM. THE INSTALLATION OF TECHNICAL GEAR, IT INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMPLEX PROCUREMENT PROCESSES ARE ALL IN A DAY’S WORK FOR SUBPROGRAM MANAGER TORE FRIBERT. Interview with Tore Fribert, technical subprogram manager through ProData Consult
When doctors and nurses in Region Zealand put on their scrubs at the region’s hospitals at the end of 2017, their interactions with patients will be documented in the new region-wide healthcare IT system. And so computers, monitors, scanners, printers, digital patient bracelets and a lot more equipment have to be purchased and configured before Region Zealand’s four hospitals, psychiatric instituti_____________________________________
“It’s been difficult to kickstart the infrastructure project. You have these two giant organizations which form part of a complex governance structure, each of which has a lot of stakeholders with opinions about IT, operations and the program.” Tore Fribert, technical subprogram manager ons, hospital pharmacy and five self-governing institutions start using the healthcare platform in November next year. Responsibility for making sure the technology works rests primarily on the shoulders of ProData consultant Tore Fribert. Since May 2016, he has been working as technical program manager for the Region Zealand’s in-house
deliverable program, which is the part of the healthcare platform for which Region Zealand and the Capital Region of Denmark must ensure the functionality. The in-house deliverable includes training, implementation, applications and technology associated with Denmark’s largest healthcare IT project. “My job is to get all of the equipment ready at the hospitals, test whether it works, and whether it’s compatible with the healthcare platform, whether it lives up to the requirements from the software supplier and so on. These are concrete tasks with short-term goals, but which are at the same time part of a large, expensive and complex project. It’s very exciting to be involved in the technological testing,” explains Fribert. Nothing is left to chance. For example, all PC monitors need to be at least 23-inch in order for the healthcare platform to function properly on them.
3 helpful tips • The most important thing is a good climate of cooperation between the two regions - creating a shared understanding how the project is to be run and designed all the way down on the level of project managers and architects. • Close communication is important. • The collaboration with Epic, supplier of software to the healthcare platform. We have been able to draw on Epic’s experience with other clients.
SLOW PURCHASING AND LOTS OF OPINIONS Before Fribert was hired as technical subprogram manager, he was in charge of building the healthcare platform infrastructure. This project, which was transferred to Region Zealand, involved building the platform for the IT project – in other words, making the data centers, networks, servers data storage and so on work. The bill for the technical aspects of the healthcare platform will amount to over 13.5 million EUR.
In this context, Fribert has had to deal with the complex procurement processes of EU tenders and SKI contracts (the Danish government’s purchasing authority), which means that purchasing processes can take up to a year. What’s more, collaboration between two institutions in the public sector is often a dicey affair: “It’s been difficult to kickstart the infrastructure
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project. You have these two giant organizations which form part of a complex governance structure, each of which has a lot of stakeholders with opinions about IT, operations and the program. So it was an uphill battle until people actually began working together across the different levels of management. But as soon as we defined the scope, it went fine,” he says.
LESSONS FROM THE CAPITAL Today, the infrastructure project provides Fribert with the advantage that he knows a lot of the people who are working with parts of the healthcare platform in both regions – from procurement lawyers to middle managers. In addition, Region Zealand has the advantage that the Capital Region has already implemented the healthcare platform at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, and is preparing to implement it at Rigshospitalet, Denmark’s leading hospital. As Fribert explains: “We’re drawing on their experience to a high degree, and I have regular meeting with my counterpart in the capital, so we avoid making the same mistakes. Some of the issues are simply practical. For example, I’m now prepared for the fact that even if we make a map showing where all of the PCs are located at the hospitals, we know from experience that most of them will have been moved to a new place after a month. These are the kinds of challenges I communicate to my project managers, which is why I try to facilitate contact between them and the people in the capital region. Here it’s a huge advantage that I have eighteen months of experience from my work on the healthcare platform, because I know a lot of the people already."
Who’s Who Name: Tore Fribert Age: 49 Education: MSc in business administration Title: Technical subprogram manager for the in- house deliverable program for Region Zealand Has previously worked for: TopDanmark, NNIT and Saxo Bank
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Permanent staff consultants:
An important piece in the strategic puzzle A STRONG TEAM OF PERMANENT STAFF PROJECT AND TEST MANAGERS HAS JOINED PRODATA CONSULT. THEY PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN KEEPING THE CONSULTING COMPANY UP TO SPEED ON CLIENTS’ REQUIREMENTS AND ADD DEEP INSIGHT INTO SELECTED INDUSTRIES. Interview with Claus Karup Rasmussen, COO of ProData Consult. When ProData Consult merged with Raft Consulting in early 2016, the latter brought quite a few permanent staff consultants into the new organization. Before the merger, there were no permanent staff consultants at ProData Consult. But in light of the vision and the strategy, building on the foundation of permanent staff consultants from Raft Consulting was the obvious next move. A so-called Product Team has since been established at ProData Consult. “It was a natural step for us to take. Our ambition is to stay a step ahead, so we remain relevant to our clients. And we can only do that if we can meet their future needs. Our
THE PRODUCT TEAM IN DENMARK The Product Team in Denmark consists of 15 project managers and test managers. Claus Karup Rasmussen is responsible for the overall strategic management of the permanent staff consultants. In collaboration with Daniel Bred, Product Director for program and project management, and Martin Skovgaard, Product Director for requirement and test management, Rasmussen is responsible for ensuring that the team includes some of the country’s best project managers and test managers.
Product Team is an important strategic piece in that puzzle,” explains COO Claus Karup Rasmussen, who heads the Product Team. At the same time, he emphasizes that freelance consultants will continue to constitute the majority of ProData Consult’s active consultants.
A PATH TO INDUSTRY SPECIALIZATION The Product Team was created in part in response to a strategic decision to acquire deeper insight into specific industries. The Product Team will play a major role in relation to key sectors: finance, energy, transportation and logistics, and telecommunications and IT. This is because clients in these particular industries demand consultants with industry-specific knowledge. What these four industries have in common, is that their business models are based on the interplay between the business, their processes and their IT systems, and according to the COO, this increases the need for knowledge about the specific industry: “The development we’ve been seeing calls for knowledge from the specific industry. It’s a tendency which is still evolving as these industries become more complex and are influenced by increasing regulation. Put in simple terms, this means that if you are a project manager at a bank, you need to know how a bank works, in addition to being a skilled project manager. It’s become a fundamental condition for success as a program, project or test manager involved in the major transformation initiatives the banks are implementing right now.”
A PARTNER WHO ADDS MORE VALUE The team of permanent staff consultants adds a new dimension to ProData Consult. It provides clients with a unique mix of deep
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"It was a natural step for us to take. Our ambition is to stay a step ahead, so we remain relevant to our clients. And we can only do that if we can meet their future needs. Our Product Team is an important strategic piece in that puzzle." Claus Karup Rasmussn, COO Prodata Consult business insight from the specific industry, often even from a particular business area, and an extremely broad foundation of IT specialists. This means that ProData Consult can become a more complete partner for the client who adds value at even more levels – especially within the four key industries. “We’re now considerably more agile, and we can offer our clients advice, dialogue and knowledge at more levels. Our clients get a partner who understands their industry. We can provide them with a business consultant who knows how to link business, processes and IT, and we can provide an IT specialist who can handle the most advanced technical challenges. This is a unique combination,” Rasmussen explains. But according to the COO, this is not only an advantage for clients. It also benefits the network of freelance consultants who will continue to account for the majority of services. “We believe that our approach enables us to create a closer relationship with our clients which creates more value for them. As a consequence of that closer relationship, we are entrusted with more tasks and other roles in our clients’ organizations. This means that we can offer both our permanent staff consultants and our freelance consultants more and more challenging jobs,” Rasmussen says.
PROMOTES INSIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE The team of permanent staff consultants will also play a leading role in enhancing insight and knowledge internally in the ProData organization. The Product Team stays on the cutting edge by sharing knowledge, experience
and the latest trends in the industries and specializations they operate in. This knowledge takes root in other parts of the organization: the Product Team acts as a resource and sparring partner for other functions. As a result, it becomes possible to engage in more relevant, insightful dialogue with clients and freelance consultants at all levels of the ProData Consult organization. “What starts out as the consultant’s specialist knowledge takes root in other parts of the organization. As knowledge spreads, it affects how we do business in a general sense, in addition to giving the rest of the organization a better understanding of the industry. As a result, we can talk to our clients and partners on a completely different level,” Rasmussen says.
ONLY THE BEST PROJECT MANAGERS AND TEST MANAGERS Product teams have only been established in the Danish and Swedish divisions of ProData Consult. In the long term, however, the ambition is to expand the concept to the rest of the company, bringing together the best project managers and test managers with specialist knowledge from the financial sector, the energy sector, the transportation/logistics sector or the telecommunications and IT sector. And as a permanent staff consultant at ProData Consult, you have excellent working conditions. “In addition to living up to everything it takes to be attractive employer, we provide a unique opportunity to specialize within one industry while also benefitting from the variety that comes with the role of the consultant. As part of the Product Team, you also have an opportunity to influence your own working conditions and interact closely with other specialists,” Rasmussen concludes. _____________________________________
"In addition to living up to everything it takes to be attractive employer, we provide a unique opportunity to specialize within one industry while also benefitting from the variety that comes with the role of the consultant." Claus Karup Rasmussn, COO Prodata Consult
Who’s Who: Name: Age: Education: Title:
Claus Karup Rasmussen 45 Executive MBA COO of ProData Consult
Former CEO of Raft Consulting and former managing director of Maersk Logistics.
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The test manager of the future INCREASINGLY HIGH DEMANDS ARE BEING MADE ON THE ABILITIES AND COMPETENCIES OF TEST MANAGERS. THE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF THE CHALLENGES FACING THE TEST MANAGER OF THE FUTURE IS THE NECESSITY OF DEVELOPING A BROADER SKILL SET. Interview with Martin Skovgaard, Product Director at ProData Consult. Like everything else, the role of the test manager is constantly changing. Large organizations have been steadily increasing their demands over the years, and this will only continue. In this interview, Martin Skovgaard, Product Director at ProData Consult, highlights some of the tendencies which he predicts will influence the role of the test manager in the future.
BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE IS A MUST A recurring challenge for test managers is the increased expectation that they are able to understand the business at a higher level. Systems and the business knowledge behind them are becoming increasingly complex, and this means that test managers must be able to challenge and define system and user requirements for the business to a much greater extent than in the past. “For some projects, the business has such an extreme deficit of resources that the test managers become the natural relief valve in relation to defining and systematizing system requirements. This requires a higher degree of business understanding and knowledge,” Skovgaard explains. A higher degree of business understanding is more sought-after than in the past. In addition, Skovgaard predicts that test managers will become even more domain-specific in the future, as we have seen in relation to project management. “In future, we will be seeing more industryspecialized test managers. Some will specialize in the financial sector, others in the energy sector. But they will have one thing in common: clients will place higher demands on their business knowledge,” Skovgaard says.
AGILITY AND AUTOMATED TESTING The spread of agile projects and programs, particularly at large companies, means that test managers need to have experience with agile projects and be able to document it. “For example, it’s not atypical that test managers
have to be Scrum Master certified to meet the IT organization’s qualification requirements. Being familiar with agile principles used to be enough, but many companies are not satisfied with that today,” Skovgaard says. The increased presence of agile programs and projects also leads to more short, iterative development cycles. This increases the need for more testing, in particular regression testing. “Even though regression testing is not generally seen as the sexiest form of testing, it’s essential to ensuring quality. A higher release frequency demand a higher test iteration frequency,” Skovgaard explains. More test iterations will typically require an automated approach to testing, because numerous repetitions of the same test scenario are involved. For this reason, test managers will be expected to have greater competencies in automated testing - a discipline which can be relatively technical.
IoT Another concept which will become increasingly unavoidable for test manager is IoT, the Internet of Things. Testing the software built into IoT devices will make new demands on environments and data, and as a consequence, cloud services such as Xamarin Test Cloud will win ground. This means that testers and test managers will need to be able to handle more tools than ‘just’ the traditional test management tools.
THE OPERATIONAL TESTING ROLE WILL BE MOVED In the future, test managers will be more strongly affected by nearshoring. Although many Scandinavian businesses still keep the coordinating and managerial roles in house, Skovgaard predicts that operational testing roles will be nearshored to a higher degree, for example to Poland. Nearshoring makes it even more necessary to handle documentation effectively, to ensure that the test meets the necessary quality standards, both in relation to analysis and design. “As a test manager, you have to welcome nearshoring. This means test managers need to focus more on coordination, on quality and on the amount of documentation the test is based on,” Skovgaard says. Finally, the Product Director asserts that a more globally distributed structure also calls for a test manager with strong communicative, interpersonal and organizational skills. This means that the personal characteristics of the test manager of the future will become more and more similar to the personal characteristics which have typically been valued in project managers.
Who’s Who: Name: Age: Education: Title:
Martin Skovgaard 34 BSc in Finance and IT from the University of Southern Denmark. Product Director for requirement and test management
Martin has worked with testing and test management for the last twelve years. He has advised many of the largest Danish IT companies, primarily in the financial and telecommunications industries, and often with a focus on test processes and building test organizations. Before joining ProData Consult, Martin served as COO of TestHuset A/S.
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The modern project manager’s winning ingredients for success HIGH DEMANDS AND EXPECTATIONS ARE THE ORDER OF THE DAY FOR TODAY’S PROJECT MANAGERS. IT’S NO LONGER ENOUGH TO HAVE A FULLY CERTIFIED TOOLKIT – THAT ONLY QUALIFIES YOU TO ENTER THE RACE FOR THE GOOD PROJECTS. IT TAKES SOMETHING EXTRA TO SUCCEED AS A PROJECT MANAGER. PRODATA CONSULT’S PRODUCT DIRECTOR DANIEL BRED SHARES SOME OF THESE WINNING INGREDIENTS WITH US HERE. Interview with Daniel Bred, Product Director at ProData Consult.
These days, the right certifications are the project manager’s admission ticket. In the past, you could succeed through simply being highly competent if the organization was familiar with your skills. Today, the right certifications are often an entry requirement for just being considered for a project or a job. What’s more, expectations as to the level of certification have also risen. “The requirements for the project manager’s certifications have shifted. Previously, it was possible to get by with a foundation certification, but today, you’re often expected to be certified at practitioner level,” Daniel Bred explains. Because these certifications are now viewed as basic qualifications by most organizations, a state-of-the-art toolkit isn’t enough to make you stand out from the crowd. You also need to rely on other factors.
LINK BUSINESS, PROCESSES AND IT According to Bred, one of these factors is the ability to link business, processes and IT. In recent years, the distinction between a
business project manager and an IT project manager has begun to blur, and as a project manager today, it’s a distinct advantage to be able to engage both the business and the IT department in dialogue. “If you can speak both the language of business and the language of IT, you’re in a better position to succeed with your project. Not just a project that works here and now, but a project which can be implemented, operationalized and succeed in the long term as well,” Bred says. As a project manager at a large organization, you also need to be able to understand issues in a larger perspective. The critical issues are constantly changing, which influences how individual projects are prioritized and how they fit into the project portfolio as a whole. As a project manager, you have to be able to handle this while still driving the project in the direction which will allow it to fit into the organizational context. “If the puzzle piece you deliver doesn’t fit because the puzzle has changed along the way, your project won’t be a success. A good
Who’s Who: Name: Daniel Bred Age: 45 Education: Engineer specializing in Production Management from the Technical University of Denmark Title: Product Director for program and project management Daniel is a former partner and Product Director at Raft Consulting and has also worked as a Business Manager at IBM, among other things.
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project manager can navigate the project in the right direction, even when circumstances change,” the Product Director explains. In fact, success should never be measured at the end of a project. A project can only be considered a success after it’s been operationalized and has been proven to deliver lasting value to the business. “Making a good piece of software that can support a business process is fine. But if there’s no one to support it and maintain it later, it will die a quiet death,” Bred adds. Precisely this fact of life places high demands on the project manager’s ability to link business, processes and IT, to ensure that when all is said and done, the project can be implemented and operationalized to the benefit of the business.
INDUSTRY INSIGHT IS BECOMING A REQUIREMENT IN CERTAIN SECTORS As Product Director for program and project management, Bred has observed that project managers who have a degree of industry specialization have an advantage. For project managers, industry insight and familiarity with how business works in a given industry have become more sought-after qualifications. In fact, in some industries, it’s even a requirement. “Your industry insight enables you to understand new developments in the industry better, whether it’s new regulations or business models. This knowledge gives you a clear advantage when you’re heading a project which is critical to the business,” Bred explains, and continues: “And industry specialization provides the advantage of giving project managers the ability to engage in dialogue with the business. Precisely because there’s an understanding of the environment the organization operates in.”
COMMUNICATION, CHARISMA AND LEADERSHIP Another winning ingredient in a successful project manager is the ability to communicate. An ability which has become increasingly important as the role of the project manager has developed from a more traditional management style to a more leadership-
"The practice of project management has become the practice of communication to a higher degree. And I’m not just talking about the ability to express yourself correctly in writing or speech. On the contrary, it’s about the ability to create dialogue and a sense of belonging to the project." Daniel Bred, product Director at ProData Consult. oriented approach. According to Bred, while the ability to communicate is crucial, it’s something that only comes from experience: “The practice of project management has become the practice of communication to a higher degree. And I’m not just talking about the ability to express yourself correctly in writing or speech. On the contrary, it’s about the ability to create dialogue and a sense of belonging to the project. You have to be able to convince others of the importance of the project’s scope, create a direction and commitment. That ability comes with experience. It’s not something you’ll find in a book.” As a project manager, you don’t have the same direct authority as a line manager. This means that you have to be able to motivate project members to move in the same direction and create a sense of unity without having formal authority. This takes charisma and good communication skills. At the same time, project managers are challenged by the increase in the number of distributed teams, because now the premise for the interaction between project members has changed. “Being a credible and skilled communicator has always been important. But it’s more important now than ever before, because the team is spread out across different units and countries – this creates different challenges,” the Product Director concludes.
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The articles in Best Practice address issues that are relevant for companies that have their problems solved by external IT consultants.
Published on Dec 1, 2016
The articles in Best Practice address issues that are relevant for companies that have their problems solved by external IT consultants.