After resetting the organisation’s strategic plan aged care boards should next ensure a strong capacity for project management, writes industry expert Jennene Buckley in the second article in this series.

Priority two: Do you have a project culture and project management capability organisation wide?

The year-on-year operational rhythm of organisations that prevailed for the last 10 decades is out of touch with reality. Every organisation now operates in an environment of continual – and certainly for aged care organisations – disruptive change.

The five pillars of aged care reform presented by the former Morrison Government indicates at least 60 changes.  A recent client translated their current three-year strategy into more than 110 projects and initiatives. 

This level of change and activity requires organisations to rethink their traditional organisation structures and reorganise their talent and skills into the project structures needed to deliver the changes ahead.     

In a recent Harvard Business Review article on project management, Roger Martin said: “the average person thinks that their life is some sort of regular job and that projects they work on get in the way of doing it. But In fact, in organisations today, the entire decision factory should be thought of as nothing but projects”. 

For aged care providers, this message is important. In an industry with significant change, we need to rethink our operational rhythm and structures. Projects get things done. They enable clear planning, execution, resource allocation, timeframes and accountability. This will hold true if your organisation can embed a “managing by projects” approach to planning and delivering on strategic and operational plans. Simply put, converting everything you need to get done into a portfolio of projects.

Building your organisation’s skills in project management is therefore super important. This is not sending managers and staff off to a Microsoft Project IT Course. It is giving them project management capabilities and credentials that focus on building their skills in planning, scheduling, risk management, team and time management, critical thinking and problem solving.  

When creating your portfolio of projects to deliver on the aged care reform, each project should initially have at least a project brief or a “plan on a page” to define the objectives, stakeholders, deliverables and level of resourcing and budget. This will assist organisations very quickly to define the collective resourcing impact and expertise needed to delivery on your strategy.

The HRB article mentioned above is worth a read.

Jennene Buckley is founding partner at Enkindle Consulting, which provides business advisory, strategic and operational planning, and transformation service to the aged care sector.

This post is part of Jennene Buckley’s Top 10 Strategies to Reform Success, published by the Australian Ageing Agenda.

Image Source: Australian Ageing Agenda