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This page is devoted to news, tips, and any other information the Project Management community may find useful or interesting.

e-Health Consultants

e-Health Consultants

According to an article in Wednesday's (Oct 6) Toronto Star (http://threeo.ca/ehealthupdatec1015.php), e-Health CEO Greg Reed has reduced the number of consultants there from 385 to 118. This is stated as an accomplishment although the story does not explain how this benefits performance. Consultants are traditionally used in the IT industry to supply a skill or expertise that is not resident within the organization, usually because they specialize in a certain area and the organization cannot afford an in-house specialist. Even 118 seems like an extremely high figure for this type of senior resource so I'm assuming that the figure includes contractors as well. Contractors should be used to provide technical services for a specific period of time, often for the duration of a project. In this way, the organization avoids permanently hiring staff only to lay them off at the end of the project. The story does not tell us how Reed succeeded in reducing the number of consultants. We can only hope that the reduction wasn't achieved by acquiring 267 consultants/contractors as full time permanent employees.

The main focus of past news stories about eHealth and its predecessor, SSH, has been on the money paid to "consultants" and their greed in expensing items like cups of tea. While some of these consultants may have been greedy and may have used their relationship with senior eHealth and SSH officials, the vast majority did not earn $3K per day and did not expense their tea, they provided quality work and services for a fair price. I hope that the reduction was achieved because the work was completed, or the projects were changed such that the work was no longer required. The Ontario's eHealth Strategy document released in 2009 identifies the lack of resources to execute the strategy as one of the key risks in its Executive Summary, that's not very reassuring.

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