Strategy and Project Management in the Academic Setting

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Strategy and Project Management in
the Academic Setting
What best practices from industry
can be applied within the academic
setting?
Industry and Academia Have Differing
Goals and Metrics of Success
• Industry focuses on translation and products scientists pursue tangible entities (validated targets,
novel molecules, biomarker assays)
• Measure of success : $$$
• Academia focus basic research knowledge creation
though basic research and dissemination of
knowledge
• Measure of success : Tenure
Principles of effectiveness in managing project progression apply equally
in both settings – project advancement is fundamental to both
Science is a Team Sport in Industry
• Many disciplines and functions are need to move
projects forward (eg. Chemists, biologists,
toxicologist, pharmacologists, engineers,
manufacturers, lawyers, marketers)
• Highly effective use of multiple resources serves the
purpose of translation
• In contrast there are incentives (getting tenure) for
academics to lean towards individual research in
order to substantiate significant impact
A Multidisciplinary Approach Can Be
Dilutive to Your Perceived Impact
Consider how to bring additional expertise to your project (collaborators,
consultants, contractors) especially If you are translationally-oriented
Principles of Project Management
Phases of Project
Management
Cornerstones of Effective
Project Management
Initiation
Milestone-based
Planning
Execution
Accountability
Monitoring
Closing
Managing Risk
Initiation & Planning of Projects
• Assemble team (think about external experts!)
• Identify goals, establish milestones/aims
• Create a project plan (simple or detailed)
– Specific project activities & tasks
– Timing of activities
– Interdependencies among work streams
– Cost
– Important milestones
Detailed Project Plan and Timeline: Microscoft
Gantt Chart is an Industry Standard
Simplified Project Plan and Timeline
Modeled After Gantt Chart (NIH)
High Level Project Plan and Timeline
Prototype
Pacemaker
Design and
Manufacture
Rabbit implant
technique
piloted
Build device with internal
charging coil (Coulter)
Electrical
output tested
8
HUD
Designation
Obtained
Fetal sheep model study with
optimized device (without
recharging) (Coulter)
Go/
No Go
Quality System
Development
Reports
Funding
Coulter Project Activities
<Q2 12
NIH R01
Application
+ oral
Q3 12
Q4 12
Q1 13
+ oral
Q2 13
Design and fabrication of external recharging system
(CTSI Funding)
Q1 14
Fetal sheep studies
incorporating external
recharging system (R01)
Publication
AHA Meeting
Patents Prosecuted
in US and Canada &
new IP under review
Q4 13
Press
Release
conversion
Accountability
• Regularly scheduled team meetings
• Create agendas for team meetings and follow
them
• Team meeting minutes with ACTION ITEMS
assigned to team members
• Review ACTION ITEMS at next team meeting
to ensure they have been completed
• Careful tracking of documentation/data
Managing Risks
• Identify risks and have
some form of mitigation for
these risks
• Supplement your team with
complementary skill sets
• Formulate endpoints and
pivot if necessary
Build optionality into your project plans and make adjustments to
your research direction as you build your information base
Some Important Issues for Academic
Laboratories You Need to Think About
• Research data retention
• Research data organization and storage
• Industry utilizes electronic laboratory notebooks and has
extensive infrastructure to support capturing work product,
data, and inventions
Problem: data walking out the door
Solution: centralized data management
Data Management Tools
Central Desktop
• Electronic Filing System for Documents &
Data
• Functionality for Tracking Project Plans &
Timelines
• Reporting and Monitoring
• A Collaboration Tool
Central Desktop Dashboard
Best Practices from Industry that Can
Be Leveraged by Academia in
Managing Your Projects
Defined milestones
Defined project needs / resources
Mapping of timelines
Team building with complementary team skills
Data management and storage
Principles of effectiveness in managing project progression should apply
equally in both settings – project advancement is fundamental to both
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