Project Management in Health and Community Services: Getting Good Ideas to Work

Project Management in Health and Community Services: Getting Good Ideas to Work

Project Management in Health and Community Services: Getting Good Ideas to Work

Project Management in Health and Community Services: Getting Good Ideas to Work


The use of project management is now well established in the health and community service sector. In this complex environment, project managers need to be determined, flexible, and prepared to respond to emerging evidence and stakeholder demands. This wholly revised edition of Project Management in Health and Community Services challenges the accepted wisdom of project management methods from other fields. It presents tools and techniques to successfully implement good ideas in the health and community service context. From the inception of a good idea, to convincing your supervisor to support your project, to wrapping up a successful outcome and capturing the lessons learnt, Project Management in Health and Community Services offers practical problem-solving strategies and provides a comprehensive guide to managing projects. It uses case studies and examples from the field to illustrate topics such as the project lifecycle, project planning, execution and evaluation, risk management, change, and effective teams. Project templates and a glossary of terms are new features to this edition. Written by authors with years of practical experience and underpinned by recent research, this is a valuable resource for anyone studying or working in health and community services.


Writing a book is a project too. This second edition came about because there is still a need in health and community services for project management approaches that are tailored to the sector. In completing this project, we had many discussions about our own experience as project managers and felt confident that a book that drew on the richness of the industry—and told the stories of the challenges, dilemmas and successes of the people within it—had much to offer.

This good idea then had to go through the many stages of definition and redefinition, planning and implementation, always under pressure of time. We read the literature, we interviewed people active in project leadership and project management, and talked the project over with colleagues, friends and loved ones. We also wrote a plan, divided up the work, committed to deadlines and struggled to meet them. The plan was revisited more than once, some tasks were swapped around, and the business of integrating all our contributions to make sure that the whole was more than the sum of its parts was an important challenge.

There are features of this edition that we think will work better for readers who need a guide as they struggle with their projects (or their project portfolios), as well as for those who are studying project management, or funding and commissioning projects. But some things don’t change. Managing people is still one of the most difficult parts of the project management process, a problem that is not limited to the health and community services industry, but which does have a particular shape and flavour in this complex, people-rich environment.

Managing change is also a continuing challenge. Old ways of funding, administering and managing health and community care were swept away in a great wave of change in the last two decades of the twentieth century, and the pace of change has only increased since.

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