Who’d be a medical device project manager?
It takes a particular outlook to want to delve into managing the competing needs and demands of the sometimes disparate disciplines that make up a development project team.
People consistently say they struggle to get to grips with the nuts and bolts of project delivery. These trials suggest there is a fracture between the theory of project management and the reality of working in a project. A fracture that probably isn’t confined to medical devices or combination products.
The field of project management is considered by many to be a maturing discipline. There are several professional organisations around the world that have developed detailed methodologies to manage projects along with certification programmes for their use. The number of books written on the subject would fill many, many book shelves, mainly focussing on the technical aspects. There are conferences, webinars, journals, industry interest groups and numerous training courses available for the interested person.
There is often a focus, some might say over-reliance, on sticking to the letter of methodologies. Certainly these have their place, as a framework around which to build an approach to delivering a particular project. But, and this is a big but, they aren’t the be all and end all of delivering a successful project.
It is all too easy to lose sight of what the project is there to achieve, getting sucked down into the details of navigating the project processes, playing the system. Much energy is devoted to checking up on what has (or hasn’t) been done, beating people up for missing often arbitrary dates. Is it surprising that people are motivated to meet KPI targets, leaving little space for getting on with the people they’re working with, and even (dare I say it) having fun?
There is another way!
A way that ensures you take care to really set out what your project is there to achieve and then helps you navigate the stations across this route map. It helps you navigate them together.
The detail is captured in a book I co-authored a five years ago, called “How to Build an Ark”.
Numerous project managers, engineers, designers, risk managers, Human Factors specialists and quality managers have copies of this book and tell me how useful it is, that they dip into it daily, weekly or to triage particular problems.
“I unapologetically ripped off your process on Wednesday and have had some very positive feedback from the team.”
“I found delivering the methodology really interesting and learnt loads. Whilst I could of done some things very differently the results were very positive and I now seem to have myself a re-energised team! So thank you.”
“…I found Martin and Matthew’s approach in their book brilliant. They draw on a lot of familiar territory from various sources and join up the dots. A really useful read.”
“Almost by accident, I came across “How to build an Ark”. It’s a great little book. It contains about 120 pages, but is brimming over with very useful information.”
Perhaps you’re curious about seeing for yourself what they found so helpful. Maybe you’re already planning on reading the book and then applying it?