Healing a community

Large-scale construction projects, particularly those involving the realization of such complex structures as hospitals, require project managers to handle countless issues and manage nearly innumerable tasks, let alone meet budget and schedule requirements. This article examines how Norton Healthcare (Louisville, KY, USA) successfully constructed a new hospital that was delivered exactly on time and US$2.9 million under budget. In doing so, it overviews why Norton Healthcare--which runs a network of five hospitals and 11 immediate-care centers--built a new hospital, describing the unconventional approach it used to design the building known as Norton Brownsboro Hospital. It explains how the organization realized a project that also involved working closely with staffing, training, and IT subcontractors to ensure that the hospital would have--on opening day--the resources it needed to run with full functionality and at full capacity, an effort that was fully realized 25 months after construction began on a project that typically takes about 30 months to complete. It discusses how communications and trust shaped the way the project team worked together, noting how one team member played a critical role in helping the project team complete the project on time and identifying the critical changes--during the project's earlier stages--that would have, if identified during a later stage, driven up the project's final cost. It then summarizes how Norton trained its new employees in using the hospital's systems and how the team reported the project's progress to key stakeholders, including government officials. Accompanying this article is a sidebar noting how the builder helped the hospital construct the building for less than the allocated budget.
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