NURS 6441 Week 6: Project Planning Part I

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NURS 6441: Project Management: Healthcare Information Technology | Week 6

An unsuccessful project fails in the beginning—not at the end.

—Brian Gugerty, DNS‚ RN

All successful projects employ a set of steps or guidelines that direct the project and the work of the team. The project manager generally establishes those steps and uses them to identify the project scope, establish priorities, create a work breakdown, and integrate the breakdown within the organization. These steps help the project to be self-sustaining, and are vital to successfully managing a project.

The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a critical part of project management. The WBS helps define the scope of the project and guides the efforts of those involved.

This week you examine the process of defining steps used to manage a project. You also investigate how to identify the scope of a project, manage and establish priorities, and develop a WBS.

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Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze work breakdown structure formats
  • Evaluate work breakdown structures for task clarity
  • Produce a work breakdown structure for a health information technology project

NURS 6441 Week 6: Project Planning Part I essay assignment

Within reason, is there such a thing as a project that is too complex to complete? Consider the Space Shuttle. One of the most complex machines ever built, the Space Shuttle had over 2.5 million parts, each of which had to be accounted for by someone. How did anyone manage to track and properly assemble these parts? The answer is through the application of a work breakdown structure (WBS). A WBS is a fundamental tool that project managers use to organize and divide the work of a project. A WBS focuses on breaking down a project’s scope into individual deliverables that may be created by assigned team members.

There are multiple work breakdown structure formats and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Project managers select a type of WBS based upon the specifics of the project they are managing. Each WBS format emphasizes different aspects of a project. These varied perspectives may each be appropriate, depending upon what information a project manager needs.

In this Discussion, you analyze different WBS formats and evaluate whether they meet basic criteria for clarity.

To prepare:

  • Explore the Work Breakdown Structure Formats document included in this week’s Learning Resources. The document presents a scenario and three corresponding WBS formats that pertain to the scenario.
  • Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each WBS format included in the document.
  • Think about the level of detail dedicated to task information in each WBS format. Evaluate the formats based on the following criteria for clarity:
    • The task has a measurable status or completion.
    • The task has defined start and end events.
    • The task has a deliverable.
    • The task’s time and cost are easily estimated.
    • The task can be completed without interruption and additional input after its start.

NURS 6441 Week 6: Project Planning Part I essay assignment

By Day 3

Post an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each work breakdown structure format. Provide an analysis of whether (and how) the work breakdown structures meet the assigned criteria for clarity. Provide rationale for your response.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days, using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective, using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
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