Project Management

© 2009 Josh Nesbit, Courtesy of Photoshare

Good management is both an art and a science. Management of any mHealth project involves the oversight of a range of factors that influence planning, partnerships, and implementation processes. The person, or group of persons, managing your mHealth project should possess:

  • The ability to develop and maintain relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and ability to learn new concepts quickly and adapt strategy based on challenges and opportunities.
  • The ability to develop, implement, enforce, and adapt procedures and systems that will support the mHealth program.
  • Solid knowledge of the health issue the mHealth program addresses or of technology design and use—and a level of comfort to speak across the disciplines.
  • A talent for translating data into meaningful updates for the implementation team and other stakeholders.
  • Familiarity with the country and the particular communities in which the program will be implemented.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills—able to be part of a team, as well as to lead a team. 

Project management for mHealth requires careful coordination of people, systems, and data. We discuss key considerations for each of these areas in the following pages.

THE EXPERTS SAY...

"Having [members from the] MOH participate in the project management team, and also in the design and implementation of the pilot, is crucial for the long term success and sustainability of any mHealth initiative. If you offer a solution to a pressing government need (for example, providing medicines people need), the government will most likely be supportive." - Marasi Mwencha, John Snow, Inc.

"The most exciting part of my job is building a team—and to be part of an interdisciplinary team. We are designers, software engineers, and project managers—all figuring out how to speak the same language about mHealth programs and how to work together.” - Isaac Holeman, Medic Mobile

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Reference

Mair FS, May C, O'Donnell C, Finch T, Sullivan F, Murray E. Factors that promote or inhibit the implementation of e-health systems: an explanatory systematic review. Bull World Health Organ. 2012 May 1;90(5):357-64.