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Six Ways to Avoid Medical Cart Project Starts and Stops

Posted by Nicole Reese on October 2, 2015

Starts and stops when working on custom medical cart projects result in resource inefficiencies, wasted time and project budget, missed opportunities and plummeting team enthusiasm — things no one wants to see happen.

While you may not be able to eliminate every project start or stop, there are six things you can do that will help you avoid such pesky delays:

1. Establish a Project Team

Put a team together that will successfully execute the project. A successful team will be comprised of cross-functional members so that all aspects of the project will have representation from a subject matter expert. As we mentioned in a prior article, your medical cart project team should include members from engineering, quality, marketing/sales, project management and the project’s key decision maker.

Having the final decision maker involved can eliminate starts and stops that come from waiting for approvals, directional changes, etc. since those issues can be handled right away rather than waiting for reviews and approvals.

2. Create Clear Project Scope Documents

Most projects go beyond their intended deadlines because they are trying to address more than what the project initially intended. This can usually be attributed to poor scope management — in other words scope creep has become rampant.

Avoiding “the creep” requires that the scope of the project is well documented and agreed upon by the project team versus just making it up as you go along. You must work relentlessly with team members to ensure no unplanned work is being requested or worked on. Otherwise, if it is, the project will continue growing in size and will be at risk of missing its deadline.

3. Understand Project Goals

The thing that hinders progress and wastes valuable project time is a lack of clarity around a project’s goals. Slip-ups and confusion happen because different team members assign different priorities to the same goal. Avoid such conflicts by determining project deliverables (outputs), who is responsible for them, and what levels of approval are required for each decision. If you can prevent such conflicts, more time can then be spent progressing the project to its conclusion.

4. Project Planning

A detailed timeline is the mainstay of making progress on any project. When creating your timeline make sure you know what project activities need to happen in sequence and which can happen concurrently. Also, be sure to account for approval times in the schedule, which can sometimes take weeks or months. If you plan these delays into your timeline, other aspects of the project can still be in motion to prevent the project from losing steam or getting stuck.

5. Highlight Project Risks and Manage Them

Make sure your project plan highlights potential risk factors and possible mitigation strategies. Referencing historical data and lessons learned from previous projects can aid in identifying the potential risks for a new, similar project. These risks may include – but are not limited to – costs, timelines, technical issues, material sources, and available resources.

Will you be able to identify all project risks? Not likely, however if you take time to identify them ahead of time you’ll know the majority of them and be able to manage accordingly — and have time left for the unexpected risks that may pop up.

6. Work the Plan!

Your project plan outlines the project’s goals, how it will be conducted, who will be working on which tasks, the budget, deadlines, risks, etc. Work your plan and you’ll get to the end efficiently and effectively.

If you work these six points into your project planning and setup, you’ll be able to avoid troublesome project starts and stops. If you need guidance or advice for getting a custom medical cart project started, contact us. We’ll be happy to talk to you about how you can get started.


Topics: Medical Cart Design, Project Management

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