Program/Project Management

MicroHealth delivers direct program management leveraging the Project Management Institutes (PMI)’s best practices for program management, which improves the potential for the delivery of work products that are on time, within budget, and compliant to specifications. MicroHealth is comprised of a dedicated and knowledgeable team of professional available to provide staff with support for a variety of technology problems. We consistently support project and program management including resourcing, prioritization decision support, sequencing coordination, enterprise architecture concepts, business models, and strategic planning. We focus on defining program scope, establishing accurate estimates, defining processes, developing a plan, obtaining commitment, and executing the program while maintaining a steady line of communication with our customer. 

  • Perform tasks seamlessly and within project scope, schedule, and budget constraints;
  • Staff and manage project teams
  • Develop and maintain Project Management Plans (PMP);
  • Develop and maintain a Contract Work Breakdown Structure (CWBS);
  • Develop and maintain an Integrated Master Schedule (IMS);
  • Ensure transparent knowledge transfer to distribute project information to stakeholders and team members;
  • Identify Project risks and develop effective mitigation strategies;
  • Implement change management to mitigate risk and control scope, cost, and schedules;
  • Provide project deliverables on time; and
  • Develop and implement a communication plan

We also leverage IEEE Standard 1058 to provide a description of the elements critical to a software project management plan. This standard provides both the outline and suggested content for a project plan. Suggested document maintenance activities are also addressed. A detailed WBS will be included in, or referenced by, the software project management plan. In accordance with IEEE Std 1058-1998, IEEE Standard for Software Project Management Plans, all roles, responsibilities, authorities, schedule, budgets, resource requirements, risk factors, and work products for each supporting process will be identified. IEEE Std 1058 also suggests that all aspects of project organization be reported, as well as a description of all technical, managerial, and supporting processes. It also requires that a section of the software project management plan specify the cost and schedule as well as the methods, tools, and techniques used to estimate project cost, schedule, and resource requirements.  

Very few Program & Project Managers have successfully managed, delivered and supported health information projects as large and geographically dispersed.  In addition to industry certifications such as the PMP, MicroHealth brings several level 3 certified Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) professionals who managed a large number of Acquisition Category (ACAT) I and ACAT III programs over the last 15 years for the Department of Defense.

Agile Methods

Agile has been implemented as far back as the 1970s, but a meeting of seventeen developers in 2001 led to the development of the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development,” which consolidated existing agile practices, removed redundancies, and built on past strategies to create lean development methods to formally define Agile. The Project Management Institute states that, currently, over seventy percent of businesses leverage some Agile practices, over twenty-five percent exclusively. The success of Agile stems from the ethos that resonates with business leaders, project managers, and developers in simple, logical, straightforward processes. Agile holds the following values:

  • Prioritize people and communication: People are the focus, not processes. Who is the client? What are their goals, issues, concerns, and needs?
  • Functioning, effective architecture is key: Iterative continuous testing brings clarity and drives success, not administrative functions or prioritization of documentation.
  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate: Viewing the customer in an adversarial light will lead to failure. Vendors and customers need to work together. Every step of the way.
  • Flexibility and rapid response: Responding to changes in priorities, direction, schedule, and budget by leveraging continuous feedback loops.

At MicroHealth, we believe that Agile practices can greatly benefit small business enterprises. Agile concepts are part of a reliable, rigorous, comprehensive framework for administering and managing a majority, if not all, small business activities. Typically, small businesses find themselves preoccupied with budgetary restraints and financial risks of undervaluing project costs. Facing such issues, small enterprises are embracing Agile principles of scalability and flexibility that can help fledgling businesses to solidify their position in the market by controlling risk and ensuing budgetary clarity through greater transparency and visibility throughout project delivery.  Our Agile methodology employs real-time decision-making processes based on iterative cycles and continuous feedback loops. These processes are facilitated by well-trained and specialized teams capable of self-management, communication and decision-making. Communicating with stakeholders and end-users throughout the project is the key to fostering customer satisfaction. Communication channels between a small business and the customer are, in fact, more conducive to collaborative Agile practices due to streamlined lines of authority, limited process redundancies, and flexibility of standard operating procedures. In a competitive environment, small businesses can take advantage of their flexibility, scalability, and limited number of stakeholders to deliver a solution to market early. Small businesses applying Agile practices to project management, development, and sustainment foster customer loyalty through close, cross-functional, scaled collaboration that reduces risks and maximizes value from the initiation of the project.

Using Agile development techniques, the scheduling of tasks, subtasks, and deliverables are performed at the beginning of an iteration cycle, creating achievable deadlines and assigning the appropriate Agile personnel. Systems engineers gather requirements and develop a use case narrative with guidance from the user community and key stakeholders. These requirements are the basis of the software, database, and data model designs needed to guide product implementation. Each cycle identifies the high-level objective for that iteration, aligning prioritized requirements against that objective, and then feeding these requirements into the baseline software designs. By the end of the iteration, the quality assurance testers have created the Iteration Test Plan against the derived requirements and demonstrated these newly developed capabilities to the user community at the end of the iteration.  

For instances where it is necessary to deploy multiple scrum teams, we apply SAFe to support continuous improvement of the system. Using SAFe, we are better able to read changing conditions and priorities and develop adaptive solutions. This process requires collaboration through cross-functional teams, continuous and early delivery, and technical excellence, while eliminating waste.  This framework allows for smaller implementations with fewer people:

  • Portfolio Level comprises people and processes required to build solutions that meet Enterprise strategic objectives
  • Program Level concerns stakeholders, program-level teams, and actions that incrementally deliver a continuous flow of value
  • Team Level involves processes are implemented for Agile teams to define, develop, test and deliver value

In SAFe, Team Level and Program Level form an organizational structure called the Agile Release Train (ART), which is a longstanding team comprising Agile teams and other stakeholders. ART aligns cross-functional teams to a shared mission goal of addressing Enterprise Value Streams. ART develops and releases solutions incrementally, delivering value that is represented as operational, tested software and systems. ART’s fixed-length iterations (typically four execution iterations plus an Innovation and Planning [IP] iteration) comprise a Program Increment (PI) timebox, which divides the development timeline into a set of iterations lasting between 8 to 12 weeks. PIs are timebox containers that help ART teams, through cadence and synchronization, to align and facilitate planning, deliver value, receive feedback, ensure reliable retrospectives, and limit Work in Process (WIP).

Technical Assistance

MicroHealth provides Technical Assistance to accomplish the task of building the organizational capacity.  Technical Assistance (TA) approach is an integral part of the implementation of policies, programs, and services with the goal to build capacity, transfer knowledge deliver evidence-based solutions, transform knowledge to practice and ultimately, improve outcomes.  We define this outcome as a change in individuals, groups, organizations, systems, or communities that occurs during or after program activities. We use quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures to help answer if the desired outcome was achieved by methodically linking an organization’s actions to program results.  MicroHealth’s technical assistance provides our customers with issue resolution, support of developmental needs, and consulting services. The following are MicroHealth’s core principles of our technical assistance approach within proven frameworks such as the Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation:

  • Collaborative: We work with the customer to identify basic needs and long-term goals.
  • Systematic: MicroHealth employs a systematic approach to provide an experiential framework of repeatable processes and evaluation of outcomes in order to create efficient, effective, consistent, and optimal results.
  • Targeted: MicroHealth assess areas of customer organization which have the most significant needs and target our effort to provide an appropriate resolution.
  • Adaptive: Being adaptive is one core principles of MicroHealth’s technical assistance approach and we remain adaptive throughout the engagement period. Additionally, we provide a flexible approach which is tailored according to the needs of the customer.
  • Customized: For each customer, MicroHealth responds to distinctive needs of customer by delivering tailored technical assistance engagements.
  • Asset-based: MicroHealth support the customer by identifying, engaging, and leveraging existing customer assets.
  • Accountable: MicroHealth create documentation such as a memorandum of understanding and draft work plan that will outline specific tools and duties.
  • Results-driven: MicroHealth is a result-driven organization and we identify measures which bring about improvements in management practices or the performance of the organization. We track these records to show the technical assistance measurable results.

Technical assistance engagements may differ in duration, topic, form, and structure, but can be molded with these principles. In rendering technical assistance, MicroHealth’s systematic approach ensures equal treatment for all customers and increases the chance of providing great technical assistance services.