It has been slightly more than four years since I joined you in the blood industry, and what a four years it has been. While my tenure in our industry is short, I do understand rapid change and the challenges it creates for organizations and leaders, regardless of the industry. Evidence indicates that the changes we are experiencing in blood banking and healthcare at-large are unprecedented, creating tremendous challenges in our centers and in ourselves as leaders. The reality is clear – it’s not business as usual anymore.
Regardless of our responses to industry challenges, organization culture has a greater impact on how we confront challenges than we may realize, and it influences how we think about thriving in the “new normal.” Strategy aside, one of the greatest links to organizational success is how well our staff (human capital) performs. At Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), a “project management” approach has been a strong tool for leveraging cultural change to be better prepared to continue thriving in the current challenging environment.
Through a “Programme Management Office” (PMO)approach, the leadership team (starting with me) is fully engaged in how we plan and implement key strategic and operational tactics that drive our organizational performance. This allows us to create incredible focus, along with very clear roles in a cross functional and matrixed team structure, specific accountabilities, and process ownership for return on investment (ROI).
For example, “Teamwork and Efficiency” isa cross functional process that determines all aspects of a given initiative, from project inception all the way to closure, including the implementation plan, timelines, milestones, budget, and ROI. The project information and progress are tracked via a dashboard posted on BBD’s intranet, which any employee can view at any time. Updates are also sent out to the organization via “PMO Bulletin” or video milestone reports developed by the team.
It’s not that we did not get things done prior to the PMO – we did – but we are now achieving valuable cultural shifts. Not only are we becoming more skilled at executing our projects, but there is also a much stronger sense that it’s about the team and not the individual’s needs or wants. We communicate better and we are becoming faster,better decision makers because complete data is available. We are also becoming more nimblebecause we track resources as they are deployed, so duties that change daily are well managed.
This column discusses just one of the many tools and techniques available to shift organizational culture. Through this holistic approach, we are more confident and courageousin facing the new normal together, whatever it might be.
Roy Roper, FABC Board Chair-Elect; firstname.lastname@example.org