Team Management in Healthcare Projects


Healthcare and Project Management



By Dr. Deepa Bhide, MBBS, DCH, PMP

Hyderabad, India


With the pandemic that has rampaged the world over the past two-plus years, we have witnessed a landslide shift in the healthcare industry’s operations. COVID-19 added to the healthcare industry’s perpetual transformation, innovation, and integration. Infiltration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its capabilities further disrupted operations in healthcare projects that impacted project team members’ roles and responsibilities. The role of a healthcare professional is multi-dimensional and is evolving. Healthcare professionals are responsible for leading care teams or, in some cases, an entire department or practice. To succeed and adapt to meet the industry’s emerging, challenging, and changing needs, healthcare project managers and teams must equip themselves with project management skills tailored to the healthcare industry.

Like any other industry, team management is critical for delivering successful projects (healthy patients and positive financial outcomes). Understanding the unique requirements of teams is essential for optimal team management. According to the Global Project Management Job Trends 2023 report1, communication, problem-solving, collaborative leadership, and strategic thinking are vital skills to deliver strategic value for projects. Healthcare projects are likely to drive a significant part of this demand.

This paper discusses the nature of the healthcare projects, challenges faced by healthcare teams, essential skills, and specific competencies for teams and team members to be successful in projects related to the healthcare industry.

Key terms: project teams; PMI Talent Triangle®; team management; essential skills; stakeholders; patient-centric care; Artificial Intelligence


Projects, programs, and portfolios have many things in common. All of these are managed by and for human resources (‘for’ means the medical and care staff, supporting staff, patients themselves, and their relatives). Project teams form a backbone for project execution and success. The project manager has a ringside seat in the game. Not just financial value but trust and psychological safety between patients and healthcare teams deliver intangible value to the project. The project management team that manages the project team works closely with the stakeholders to deliver the project outcomes and eventual value. The team members’ composition, competencies, interactions, and work environment are seen as a team culture, which forms the basis of team and project results.

Mary*: Good morning, doctor. How are you today?

Author: Good morning, Mary. I am good and hope you are too. How have you been?

Mary: I am good, thank you! I am eager to know your views on team management and the role and responsibilities of a project manager for healthcare projects. I was talking to a friend who handles Information Technology (IT) transformation for a local hospital. He seemed concerned about the project delay due to team-related issues.

Author: Ah, okay. The team is as vital as the project, especially when dealing with a healthcare project. Let’s address the issue as we discuss, but first, let’s start with a few questions. Why is teamwork essential for healthcare?

  1. It isn’t – Physicians work solo and are entirely responsible for all patient care.
  2. It is an excellent practice to make other people feel important.
  3. Healthcare is multi-disciplinary. It requires multi-disciplinary care to treat a patient holistically.

Mary: C is the answer. Healthcare is multi-disciplinary, and different skill sets are needed for comprehensive patient treatment.

Author: Which of the following is the fundamental tenet of healthcare that drives teamwork?

  1. Patient-centric care; focus on safety and accessibility
  2. Focus on the profitability and financial viability of the healthcare setup
  3. Heightened need for regulatory compliance in the healthcare industry

Mary: A is the answer. Unlike many other industries where the primary focus may be on products or services, healthcare teams must prioritize the well-being of patients. This requires a high level of empathy and a commitment to patient-centered care.

Author: Which factor is the most important for the healthcare teams to remember while delivering equitable patient care?

  1. Socio-economic status of the patient
  2. Patient Diversity
  3. Geographical location of the patient

Mary: B is the answer. Healthcare teams must serve diverse patients with varying cultural backgrounds, languages, and healthcare needs. Cultural competence and sensitivity are essential in delivering equitable care.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles about project management in healthcare is by Dr. Deepa Bhide, a pediatrician with additional experience in information technology and project management. Being a physician herself, she has recently experienced healthcare from a patient’s perspective while recovering from a broken ankle.  In this series, Dr. Bhide discusses programs, projects, and project management in various aspects of healthcare from industry, provider, and human patient perspectives. Learn more about Dr. Bhide in her author profile at the end of this article.

How to cite this work: Bhide, D. (2023). Team Management in Healthcare Projects, Healthcare and Project Management, series article, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue X, October Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/pmwj134-Oct2023-Bhide-Team-Management-in-Healthcare-Projects.pdf

About the Author

Dr. Deepa Bhide

Hyderabad, India


Dr. Deepa Bhide, MBBS, DCH, PMP, has over 20 years of professional experience where she has blended medical practice and research with IT and Project Management. She juggles consulting, training, and operations and is proficient in clinical medicine, project management, and healthcare information technology. Starting her career as a medical practitioner, she has worked with varied organizations before her current stint as director and clinical expert for Inventurus Knowledge Solutions.

Deepa’s growing interest and work in these areas, born from her day-to-day patient interactions, helped her view Project Management as a backbone of progressive healthcare. Her paper on “Patient Care – A Project Management Perspective” has received global recognition and acclaim. With a physician background as a solid foundation to leverage IT/PM skills and knowledge, Deepa has blended her broad-based experience and learnings to present a unified, holistic, and wholesome view of Project Management and Healthcare, a cross-domain confluence. Through various webinars, events, talks, and writings across platforms, Deepa has been an evangelist in championing global project management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Gold medalist from Osmania University for standing First in the MBBS course, she pursued her DCH in Pediatrics and Child health. Deepa has served various roles in local and global Project Management Institute (PMI) regions. She remains actively engaged with PMI and has been a participant and speaker for various national and global meetings and online events.

Deepa lives in Hyderabad, India, and loves traveling, singing, and experimenting with global cuisine. She can be contacted at deepa.bhide@gmail.com.