17-Nov-2018 IT’s In His Personality Page ContentWhat drove Eugene's interest to become an IT Project Manager at IHiS, Singapore's HealthTech agency?A confluence of factors, according to him – his upbringing, personality and an illuminating conversation with a teacher which set him on his path towards IT."When I was in secondary school, a teacher told me that I didn't need a professional to increase my computer's RAM – I could do it myself. So I went to buy some parts, fiddled around a little and managed to complete the upgrade. I still remember the ecstasy of knowing I had succeeded in my first IT project," he enthused. Before long, Eugene was building his own computers, which gave him flexibility in deciding the specifications he wanted. He likened the task of assembling a computer to managing a project – it should be done in the most efficient manner possible to save time and money. He reckons IT projects such as these when he was young helped shape him into the logical person he is today, a personality trait that serves him well as an IT Project Manager. "My personal characteristics happen to fit the archetype of a project manager. In a way, I did not decide to become a project manager; I am just being myself," he said.What do project managers do?Project managers perform a range of multi-faceted things. For example, they work with clients and users to list the requirements, the engineers to create the system and the finance department on the budget. They are often described as the glue that holds everything together, and are responsible for the overall planning and execution of a project.At IHiS, project managers also get to be involved in the conceptualisation of projects that have a national impact when they work with the Ministry of Health, something Eugene describes as a privilege."We are in a unique position between MOH and healthcare providers, whom we work very closely with for our IT systems. During discussions with MOH on how to operationalise their policy intent, we give feedback on what may work, what is ideal and what is practical. This helps them to come up with a more practicable implementation plan. It's satisfying to see that we have contributed to conceptualising something with national impact, which project managers in other industries may not get to do," Eugene elaborated.No two projects are exactly the same, with each having its own requirements and intricacies. It is important for a project manager to be able to adapt to different needs, anticipate the next steps and articulate his thoughts clearly. Hence, Eugene thinks that a good project manager needs to have an inquisitive mind, a clear and logical thought process, and the ability to engage various stakeholders in a collaborative manner.Working at IHiSIHiS implements IT systems for all public healthcare institutions and some private institutions. Despite having been in IHiS for several years, Eugene is still regularly amazed by the amount of collaboration he experiences on a regular basis. As such, he thinks that IHiS is defined by its synergy.He cites the SmartCMS programme as an example. He is involved in the implementation of SmartCMS, which is a multi-level collaboration with the providers of the primary care sector's Clinic Management System (CMS). It allows the general practitioners' systems to link up electronically with national programmes such as Community Health Assist Schemes (CHAS), resulting in a seamless information flow. Not only does this enhance continuity of care, it also increases productivity – staff at healthcare providers now spend less time manually uploading information. As of Oct 2018, over 400 clinics have benefited from this programme, with collective savings of over 70,000 man-hours per annum. Achievements like this make Eugene take great pride in working for IHiS. IHiS' meaningful mission to improve the population's health and health administration also struck a chord with Eugene; he delights in his work despite much of it being accomplished behind the scenes and "less celebrated". He compares it to Formula One:"The winning driver in the Grand Prix is usually more celebrated than the engineering and technical crew that made the win possible. This analogy holds true to the role that IHiS performs for the healthcare sector. However, the value proposition that we deliver through our work is equally as important as the Formula One drivers' crew," he mused. He is currently an integral part of the GPConnect team, which is a CMS solution developed by IHiS for the primary care practitioners. The system supports GPs in their daily clinic operations and helps them to store medical records electronically; this enables GPs to operate more efficiently, thus maximising consultation time with their patients."Every day, on my way home, I pass a clinic which uses GPConnect. It is very fulfilling to see the work that we deliver having an immediate and positive impact in the daily lives of all Singaporeans. I will be hard pressed to find more gratifying work," Eugene concluded.Caption: Eugene (first from the left) enjoying a playful moment with his team when GPConnect celebrated its 1st Anniversary at The Arts House at The Old Parliament. To find out more about careers at IHiS, click here.