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Advocate Health Care: Streamlining tools for better care


When Advocate Health Care wanted to streamline its business, we helped design and build new tools to make it happen.

What we did

  • Establish a lean project management office (PMO)
  • Standardized practices across team sites and projects
  • Standardized tools and documentation
  • Centralized repository

Streamlining efforts and boosting efficiencies are a top priority for Advocate Health Care, so they decided to establish a lean project management office (PMO), train its Field IT team, and set the stage for long-term sustainability.

Wanted: trusted partner

Advocate is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit healthcare systems. With 250+ care sites, including 11 acute-care hospitals and two children’s hospitals, managing IT projects across the provider’s network is no small feat. The provider needed:

  • Better visibility into its entire portfolio

  • Standardized tools, processes, and practices to exchange lessons learned

  • An organized project management office (PMO) to open visibility to the Field IT teams’ project pipeline, consolidate efforts, and increase operational efficiencies

With limited funding and strained resources, Advocate needed a trusted partner who could work on its terms—quickly understanding its unique culture, challenges, and opportunities.

“Slalom truly partnered with us to understand our culture, tools, and business needs—ultimately setting us up for long-term success. A lot of consulting firms can deliver a project, but it’s rare to end up with a solution that empowers the organization to be self-sustainable after that firm leaves.”

Back to basics

Our first task: learn the ins and outs of Advocate Field Services’ history, current environment, organizational structure, and existing tools and practices. From there, we got to work adapting our process to fit the unique needs of Advocate’s environment and people. We helped deliver:

  • Newly standardized practices across team sites and projects

  • Tailored set of easy-to-use, standardized tools and documentation—including status reporting, practices for scope definition and control, and issue and risk management

  • Centralized repository, built on Microsoft SharePoint, to enable shared status visibility for all local and corporate projects

Self-sufficiency, attained

Advocate Field Services has a lean, efficient PMO that’s producing a host of benefits. The team’s biggest success is its ability to maintain the new project office completely self-sufficiently.

Field Services’ IT delivery teams were coached by the larger team on how to use their new tools, and, equally important, the benefits and ease of using those tools—ultimately leading to widespread adoption. Advocate Field Services truly operate as an enterprise IS team.