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Project Management

Medicinal Chemists working in drug discovery are likely to be part of a project team or leading a sub project team. For both roles an understanding of basic project management principles and techniques is invaluable and helps both teams and individuals in achieving their objectives. Projects are temporary endeavours to create a product and project management is the application of skills and techniques to deliver projects effectively and efficiently. This chapter provides an introduction to the key project management practices of scheduling, risk management, project control and stakeholder management and gives an overview of how the project planning cycle is integrated with the drug development process. The life sciences industry has been slower than many in adopting good project management practice for two reasons—lack of financial constraint during the boom years and a belief that it could constrain scientific discovery. Opportunities need to be recognised and developed but whilst creativeness may increase scientific knowledge, if unfocused it may not lead to the new medicine patients are waiting for. In times of increased regulations, financial constraint and diminishing pipelines there is a fine balance between creativity and productivity. The value of focusing effort, integrating activities and enabling teams to deliver more efficiently in a highly uncertain environment such as drug discovery is now well recognised.

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09 Dec 2014
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