It is time to open your heart

Do we get patients feedback in R&D?

Do patients participate in designs?


BY Almahdy Eltonsy

Africa Service Manager
Affordable Care, Life Care Solutions and Ultrasound

Cairo, Egypt


A question popped up in my mind:

Do we get patients feedback when it is related to healthcare projects?

Let me start from the beginning ….

Late in April this year I had a discussion with Prof. Wael who told me, Almahdy … Opening your heart is the only way out …

22 years working in healthcare projects and industry, providing solutions, consultation, working closely with doctors, attending examinations, operations, 10  years of them spent in Cath labs, working closely with cardiologists, total hospitals and now I must have a new experience in healthcare … as a patient.

Each one has his own trigger for being vulnerable, as I was in the industry for 22 years, my personal nightmare was being inpatient in a hospital; now I must be inpatient and need a major surgery, an Open-Heart surgery.

With calcified severely stenosis in aortic valve in addition to endocarditis, I have no choice, except for timing.

I must face my trigger for being vulnerable.

Knowing that whatever will happen, I will have no control over it … Nightmares popped up.

I looked at my inner side and decided to act and decided to have the control again.

I stopped all my thoughts at once, taking my mind off, instead of feeling vulnerable with no control I decided to believe that it will pass, now I could see the golden opportunity I have … to live the healthcare industry from the other side … to be a patient … it is an opportunity.

Yes, after all the projects I did in the last years, now I will live in the project itself.

First I had to run a lot of investigation … I did an Echo, Abdominal ULS, Throat ULS..

The big chance happened: I had to make TEE (Trans Esophageal Echo), great … I was talking to my colleague who works as a modality service leader: now I will see the work flow in a radiology dept. and know how patients could bite the probe, how convenient the project is to the patients.

I will use the chairs that have been supplied.

Went to the radiology center, waited for some hours, started the echo at 9 PM but I was under full anesthesia with a mouth guide for the probe … How does the patient bite the probes? A question I couldn’t find answered; how the probes get damaged, then the workflow could be much better; the area and the waiting area could have much more to reflect a friendly atmosphere and add real relief to patients.

The doctor asked me to redo the TEE, but in Cairo University hospital, I was lucky as I will check again, how things will be in the largest hospital in Africa and the oldest university hospital in Middle East and Africa as well?


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About the Author     

Almahdy Eltonsy

Cairo, Egypt


Almahdy Eltonsy
, IPMA – B is a Senior Project Manager in the HealthCare industry, and the first healthcare PM granted the IPMA-B certification in Egypt. Starting with Siemens in 1993, Almahdy has extensive technical and managerial experiences, gaining the ability to work cross-functionally in a time-intensive environment.  One of the most important milestones in Almahdy’s project management career is Children’s Cancer Hospital in Egypt (57357) (www.57357.com ), a 30 Million Euro Project. As a GPM for this strategic pivotal project, the scope was not only project management but also the service management, in addition to work with accreditation bodies.

In 2012 Almahdy moved to GE HealthCare to work as a product service manager for Surgery – X-Ray – Intervention – Ultrasound – Life Care solutions, using his experience in leading the service team with project management methodology. Almahdy’s motive to change is to take a new challenge and exposure to new cultures and discipline, taking advantage of his technical and managerial skills and using the project management tool box in general management aspects.

In addition to his work in healthcare, Almahdy worked as an IT project developer with one of the largest media and advertising groups in Egypt.  Almahdy was able to realize a new methodology and software for Media planning and advertising campaign planning. Almahdy holds a B.Sc. in Systems and Biomedical Engineering from Cairo University – Faculty of Engineering, and passed many specialized courses in Siemens, GE and Microsoft.  Linkedin: Almahdy Eltonsy.  Email: [email protected]

To view other works by Almahdy Eltonsy, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/almahdy-eltonsy/.



Creating A Bar/ Restaurant for the Future

‘Sustainability in the Service Industry’

The Design and Re-model for ‘BARCODE’ Bar and Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


By Katharine A. Foley

Northern Ireland


Before I even start, let me explain that this whole project was carried out remotely from beginning to end. All correspondence between the clients, architect and myself was carried out using electronic formatting. With the use of email for simple conversation and direction, to Skype for the ongoing screen sharing in regards to the presentation of designs and to clarify and quantify any changes. Therefore, even before we look into what a sustainably built bar looks like, consider there was no paper use or, paper waste from either that of myself as the designer or of the architect assigned to work with me.

I am based in the UK, whilst the architect was based in Columbia, whilst the clients were located in Las Vegas, Nevada, meaning the project work that was carried out existed between three different time zones, Pacific, South America and the UK. There were times throughout the project when the clients were travelling to different states and then beyond to outside the USA, as far as the Indian Ocean. However, at all times open communications between all the parties concerned were honored and respected no matter what part of the world they resided.

For the project brief, the message was simple, just not the solution. I was to create and develop a design concept for four partner clients to include a fully functional space offering excellent balance and form whilst providing a good flow and synergy for traffic for both the interior space and exterior patio area.

Sounds simple right, well add to that the re-design draft of an electrical plan, the provision of a color concept throughout that works in conjunction with the selected materials. Further, I was to advise and assist the clients in sourcing and procuring elements for the space, whilst also being available to them for the installation process. The final part of the brief was to assist with developing a name for their new venue along with a visual graphic design.

Here I had an immediate advantage, as my son is a fantastic artist; therefore I passed this part of the project directly to him. He came up with the name ‘BARCODE’, which the clients loved and immediately agreed upon. This allowed him to create and develop the design graphic which would become the focal point for their project. Approval was given to demolish any interior walls that I felt might cause an obstruction or prevent the design vision reaching the desired end goal.

The original budget for this project was $100,000, however it is worth noting that a further $100,000 funding was awarded to the clients from Budweiser when they (the clients) presented my 3D Design Concept Renders for their new business venue, ‘BARCODE’.

The project timeline was tight, as I was given three months to complete the design concept and hand over all the technical and construction documentation for the project. I began working on the project on the 18th December 2015, just before the Christmas break. With a great deal of good will over the festive period, the design concept was approved and signed off by all four partner clients before we had reached the end of December. This enabled them to make the necessary applications to pull permits required to proceed with other site work such as the electrical scope of works and demolition. Once we had this first milestone in place, we set into the technical documentation and construction files which were successfully completed and then signed off and handed over to the clients on the 27th February 2016. Having reached this phase end successfully and earlier than planned, a contractor was hired and we were ready to begin the process of clearing the site for demolition.

When we started, the clients had no vision whatsoever for a design concept, neither did they have any blue prints for the available working space. One of the first tasks was to arrange someone to go on-site as soon as possible to take the measurements of the entire area; once received, I proceeded to develop and create a brand new floor plan for the existing space.

My first scheduled Skype call with the clients provided me with an opportunity to offer a solution based interior design concept consisting of an industrial/urban theme, whilst introducing sustainable products wherever possible into the design concept. On approval, a full lifecycle analysis was carried out for the purpose of establishing the cradle-to-grave impact of purchasing and installing such fixtures, fittings and equipment. Based on the design concept I convinced the clients that the approach of installing sustainable materials where possible throughout the project would not only benefit them financially but would also add to the aesthetic appeal of the completed design.

During this time, to ensure that we could truly call the project sustainable, consideration was given to relevant socio-economic factors with regards to manufacturing products such as poor working conditions and child labor. The decisions were made once all of these factors had been put into place that all the products and manufacturing would be done locally to also enhance the financial sustainability factor for the region.


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About the Author

Katharine A. Foley

Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK


Katharine Foley is an Interior Designer and a Certified Project Manager with twenty years of industry experience delivering projects globally for both exclusive VIP and high end clients. Her great flexibility in delivering projects means that no budget is too large or too small as she delivers based on quality not simply on cost.

She has worked as a personal designer/stylist with VIP clientele and also budgeted clients and is extremely experienced in retail interior design & set design.

Katharine has a strong approach to leadership, managing large teams of designers, junior designers, merchandisers and graphic designers on major in-house project work. All her projects are solely client facing and always, from client brief through to hand-over. Whether there is a need for hand holding along the way, or for an eye for detail, Katharine’s continuous approach towards successful delivery has allowed her to make a name for herself within her specialist field. With work experience in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, USA and Europe this has now helped her towards the early stages of setting up her own online interior design business, ‘Imagine Interior Design Studio’, offering design to a global audience.

To learn more about Katharine and her designs visit https://www.facebook.com/imagineinteriordesignstudio/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel



Two plus two equals….?


By Ruby Tomar



Well, two plus two was lesser than four for this project that I was assigned for a team of engineers involved in delivering towards a crucial part of the companies’ install base. This paper describes how I have stitched the fabric of the team together and the frameworks used.

The Situation

Tasks were getting ticked off from the To-Do lists, without the knowledge of the Whys, the engineers were delivering on what was requested, with little knowledge of the big picture. There was uncertainty about the future and the group lacked cohesion. There was little motivation to aim for the extraordinary and to put in that extra effort to ensure robustness and scalability of the solution. Mediocrity prevailed and was the norm, most operated safely within their boundaries. There was little merit in developing one’s skills or increasing competency and most focussed toward doing the minimal to survive. The “team” had fragmented into islands of information with no cross-pollination between them.

The Transformation Journey

I started with some understanding of the business and the dynamics of the team. Slowly began to connect with each one individually, beginning with warmth, hearing each one out with a genuine desire to understand. Being sensitive to their current situation, making them feel comfortable in it, accepting them as they were in a non-judgemental way.

Staying attuned to their feelings; acknowledging the emotions they go through so they feel understood and cared for created a mutual comfort level and a sense of belonging towards each other.

Every 1:1 focussed on creating a culture that is transparent and honest; and is focused on rigor and results. Being like a coach taking real interest in what they want form their career and job, rekindled the zeal for putting in their best. Slowly people started to affiliate with each other and I was regarded as a member of their group. [1] [2]

Using the framework laid out in “The 5 dysfunctions of a team” [3] gave a structural approach to solving the problem, especially the personal histories exercise helped bond the group better.

Working together through several workshops we derived a set of shared values and guiding principles which were consistently reaffirmed with every action and decision. Team and individual goals were set acknowledging the current state and sharing the vision of the desired state from “What is” to “What could be”. By making them mutually accountable to one another, and encouraging accountability conversations between peers (especially when one is missing the commitment), interpersonal conflicts reduced as now they shared accountability towards a common goal. They discussed all viewpoints, choose the best one, they may disagree BUT they committed.

Aligning the work done by the team with the larger picture, regularly sharing organizational updates, product roadmaps, and replaying the All Employee Meetings helped connect them to the larger whole and brought pride and meaning to their day to day work.

Converting team meetings into fun activities/learning workshops helped them learn/polish their soft-skills while bonding with each other. Getting team members to facilitate sessions; encouraging healthy debate, creating team rules collectively so that everyone’s voice is heard, helped in creating action plans with everyone’s buy-in.

Saying “I am sorry” when something wasn’t done right by me, apologizing on behalf of my team for a goof up, helped build my credibility with the team, and they started realizing that asking for help taps into the natural human impulse of cooperating with others.[4] Soliciting feedback in 1:1s and anonymous settings helped me correct my course in real-time.


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About the Author

Ruby Tomar



Ruby Tomar
has worked in the print, automotive, consumer, networking, and telecommunications industries as a Project Manager and is with HP for over 10 years. She is an avid reader of the latest management research and leads various initiatives within and across her organization. With two patents filed and four disclosures to her credit, Ruby is process and technology savvy with a strong inclination towards innovation and process optimization. She can be reached at [email protected]



What I learned from a Failed Project


By Fred Fanning

Washington, DC area




Several years ago, the author was a portfolio executive for administrative programs. One of those programs was automated Travel Management Services. When he took the position, there was a task to implement an automated travel management system that was over a year behind schedule. The organization purchased the travel management system, and the company was trying to implement it against the wishes of the organization. The parent organization required all subordinate organizations to move to automated travel management. However, there were many in his organization that didn’t want this to occur. The resistance was two-fold. Many liked the old travel management systems they were using and didn’t want to change. Secondly, the financial staff did not want the travel management systems to connect to the financial management system because they were afraid this would lead to unauthorized access to financial information. The failure to implement this system had already cost two people their jobs.

Project Scope

The fully automated system was to have all transactions done over the web using any personal computer with appropriate passwords and authentications for security. The travel management system was also to connect with the organization’s financial management system so that travel reservation would be paid immediately and when an employee returned from travel they could file an electronically voucher and have the money deposited in their bank account.

Project Experience

When the author took over the portfolio, he hired a program manager and travel manager to oversee the work of organization’s project manager and the travel company’s project manager. To offset some of the resistance to the program the team proposed a pilot to their senior official, and he approved. The pilot was run for several months and appeared to work well. The team briefed the senior staff members, and they agreed the team should move forward with the project. After that, the author found out that there was an issue. The program manager and travel manager ran the pilot without connecting the travel system and the financial management system. The author does not find this out for nearly a year. The entire pilot was a fake.

The author was shocked to find the program and travel managers had not executed the pilot just as the final project would require. The program and travel managers said the reason for their failure was that the financial manager would not let them connect to the financial management system. The author later found out this was not the first time that this had happened. After several meetings with the financial manager, they agreed to a lengthy process of developing the interface that would allow the travel management system and the financial management system to communicate with each other. No other work on the project could proceed without this step.

To develop this, interface the team used the project management waterfall process. This plan included developing a requirements document for the interface. That document took nearly a year to develop. Of course, the team ran into more difficulty from the financial staff who had made changes to their financial management system while the team wrote the requirements document. Those changes made the requirements document incomplete. When the author left that job a year and a half later, the team was still not able to implement an interface between the two systems. Furthermore, nearly five years after there was no interface.

The author had to answer for the failed project, and it negatively affected his career. He was not the first person this had happened to, and he probably wouldn’t be the last. Since that time, he has continued to manage programs and projects although never an automated system. He can honestly say that the travel management system project was the only one that he did not complete.

Alternative Project Methods

The members of my team were trained in what the author would call the “classical method” of project management as outlined in the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge. The method had always led to successful projects. Even after this failure, the author went back to using the classical method. As you can imagine he second guessed himself on the travel management project for years after. At the same time, he continued to read about project management and kept his training up to renew the PMP certification. Along the way, he learned about Agile Project Management from the Project Management Institutes website. As he read and learned more about it, he realized that the SCRUM method would have been the right method to have used on the interface between the travel and financial management systems. The author says this because the SCRUM methodology could have allowed the team to perform several sprints that completed specific tasks from the product backlog. He thinks this would have enabled the team to encourage the financial management staff to take another step. Once the team took enough steps, the interface would have been complete.


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About the Author

Fred Fanning, PMP

Washington, DC area, USA


Fred Fanning
worked for over 32 years as a Program and Project Manager for the U.S. Government. He has peer reviewed books published by the American Society of Safety engineers. Fred has also written several other paperbacks and ebooks. His book Project Management for Safety Professionals was published by Kindle Direct Publishing in December 2016. He also has over fifty articles published in various journals and periodicals. His articles on project management have appeard in the PMWorld Journal; Organization, Technology and Management in Construction · an International Journal; and the PMI GovCOP Magazine.

He currently holds the Project Management Professional certification. Fred served as the Communications Lead for the Government Community of Practice of the Project Management Institute from May 2013 through December 2014. Fred has also spoken at national conferences on project management. Fred earned master’s degrees from National-Louis University and Webster University.

You can contact him at [email protected] or visit his website at https://fredefanningauthor.com/home/