VIMSS:ESPP2 Scientific Research Project Management
The success of a mature scientific research program depends on maintaining an agile Performance Monitoring Project Management structure, which served the flagship VIMSS:ESPP effectively, while implementing more formal risk management oversight practices as proposed new technologies are integrated into the pre-existing core research groups. Project Management offers the stability of a rational and logical process for managing work in a virtual research institute. This (re)new research project initiated at three national laboratories and seven universities from coast to coast and is comprised of ~75 individuals collaborating within three core research groups: Applied Environmental Microbiology Core (AEMC), Functional Genomics and Imaging Core (FGIC) and Computational and Systems Biology Core (CSBC). We have found that there is a balance between tight project management to create synergy, focus and continuity to the project and well-tracked individual-investigator-driven initiatives and follow-up that must be struck to maintain creative engagement and productivity of the project team, all while remaining vigilant against scope creep. It has been our experience that frequent and rapid communication at different levels with different media is critical to exploiting the scale and diversity of the team project's capabilities for this multidisciplinary, multi-institutional collaboration.Included topics in this overview are: Project Management Plan Development and Implementation, Performance Monitoring and Communications, Schedule Development and Execution, Cost Estimation, and Risk Identification and Management.