Project Management

PM Lessons Learned from Life Sciences

PMI Ireland Chapter

Michael is a project manager in Cork, Ireland.

The life sciences industry is among the most regulated globally, with drug safety and efficacy of utmost importance. Although vendors delivering products and services to companies in this sector are not subject to the same regulations as their clients, the regulatory environment drives solutions providers to best practices that may not otherwise be insisted upon.

Having worked as a project manager delivering technology solutions to life sciences clients for close to a decade, I have noticed common themes that help ensure project success. Some of these best practices are shared in this article and are transferable outside the pharmaceutical industry (these are not unique to that sector, and may be recognizable only as best practices to drop when the schedule or budget is pressured). Hopefully this will encourage you to adopt these as worthy investments in your project’s success.

1. Traceability
Consider the use of a requirements traceability matrix (RTM), a best practice in the life sciences world. It ensures all requirements are designed, implemented and tested leaving none behind. It demands that all requirements be uniquely identified—a useful exercise to encourage clarity in requirements definition and in thinking about their necessity.

A spreadsheet (or MS Word table) can map each requirement to its corresponding section in the high-level design …

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