Why incorporating business acumen


in healthcare project management is essential

 for achieving the SDGs in Africa



By Rudi T. De Koker

South Africa

In recent years, digital innovation and organisational changes have transformed the healthcare sector, paving the way for telemedicine project implementation. One such success story is the PIMART (Pharmacist-Initiated Management of Antiretroviral Treatment) Telemedicine platform, which has been instrumental in improving the care and management of people living with HIV. The success of the PIMART Telemedicine platform serves as a clear demonstration of the importance of incorporating strong business acumen in project management to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in healthcare. By managing projects using best practices in Agile, with clear objectives, timelines, roles, and responsibilities, the team was able to ensure that the project progressed smoothly, despite the risks posed by COVID-19.

Moreover, the platform was designed with the end-user in mind, with extensive research conducted to understand the needs of pharmacists and patients. The user-friendly platform with easy navigation and interactive tools has made it simple for pharmacists to access information, thereby improving the quality of care for people living with HIV.

Achieving the SDGs in healthcare is essential for the economic growth and wellbeing of the African continent. Effective project management, incorporating strong business acumen, plays a critical role in driving economic growth and development. By ensuring that projects are completed within set timelines, budgets are managed effectively, and risks are mitigated, we can improve the wellbeing of people in Africa. Therefore, it is essential to utilise this approach in initiatives aimed at achieving the SDGs in healthcare.

One study highlighted that project management is a critical component of the research process. The study found that effective project management increased the chances of successful project outcomes, and researchers should consider incorporating project management methodologies in their work.

Furthermore, another study explored the relationship between project management and public health. They found that projects can deliver effective results if managed well, and that project management methodologies can help public health professionals achieve their goals. However, the success of projects depends on several factors, including project management skills, resources, and stakeholder engagement. Therefore, incorporating strong business acumen in project management is essential to achieving successful outcomes.


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Editor’s note: This article is based on a presentation by the author at the 2022 Project Management South Africa (PMSA) Annual Conference in November 2022.  Article coordinated by PMSA, who approved its publication in the PMWJ.

How to cite this article: De Koker, R. T. (2023).  Why incorporating business acumen in healthcare project management is essential for achieving the SDGs in Africa PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue V, May.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj129-May2023-DeKoker-business-acumen-in-healthcare-pm-in-Africa.pdf

About the Author

Rudi T. De Koker

South Africa


Rudi De Koker holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Technology in Project Management; he is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with a passion for healthcare and HIV/AIDS management that led him to pursue a Post Graduate Diploma in this field from Stellenbosch University in 2011. He is currently enrolled for a PhD with a focus on Telemedicine.  Rudi possesses a wealth of knowledge working in both the private and NGO sectors managing large scale projects within healthcare.  Prior to enrolling for the PhD, he was the Managing Executive for a national HIV/AIDS programme in South Africa.  Rudi’s interests are in Project Management, Universal Health Coverage, Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence.  He can be contacted at rudidekokermobile@gmail.com