Stepping back and looking at Healthcare.gov's launch, what lessons can American businesses take away? From managing customer service concerns to engaging public relations, the problematic Healthcare.gov experience was more than the website that sparked a standing-room-only Congressional hearing, it was an example of how things can go very wrong – very fast – when project management falters.
5 Lessons Healthcare.gov Taught American Businesses
Kiss Your Project Champion: Project Champions are the heroes that ensure project management is seamless from start to finish – regardless of the size and scope of a project. Project Champions oversee everything from requirement evaluations to stakeholder communications, vendor qualifications, prioritizing project phases, allocating resources and diligently maintaining an accurate project scope. If a project is going to succeed – whether the project is a website design for a local bakery or a massive undertaking for Uncle Sam – a Project Champion makes all the difference.
Select Your IT Vendors…Wisely: When selecting an IT vendor, research their performance stringently. Do due diligence! Ask questions! Major IT vendors, and reputable mid-level IT companies, will demonstrate leadership abilities and a rock solid track record. Don’t be impressed by tech babble – be impressed if the IT vendor is asking questions and getting to understand the needs of your business and what the expectations and requirements of your project. Ask about certifications. Grill the IT experts on successes in comparable projects. Demand references and actually investigate the references provided. There are exceptional IT companies out there – find them!
Public Relations Can Save The Day: When things go wrong, don’t hide. Make a statement. Issue a press release. Take to social media. Admit failures – and quickly share the steps your company is taking to correct issues. Empathize with critics. Defend your position, but do it with leadership and strength. Public relations can turn any defeat into an opportunity for exchange, communication and improvement. Don’t be afraid to take to your social media to address an issue, and show the resolve, expertise and determination it takes to right a wrong.
When taking on a project, make sure you have a project champion that will carry all tasks to success. Make sure your project has a powerful IT company on its side (we can recommend a great one!) with stellar customer service expectations and, more important, deliverables. Don’t be afraid to share good – and bad – news with the help of creative public relations and, last, but not least, never give up regardless of how daunting, difficult or even temporarily damaging a project may appear.
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