Real World ScenarioTQB in Action

You' re a project manager for a clinical research facility. Your company retains the best and brightest of the scientific community, specializing in the research of cures and (hopefully) the eradication of terrible diseases. Your firm has taken on a new and formidable enemy: the human form of "mad cow disease," formally known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or vCJE.

You' ve been asked to formulate a project plan that will equip scientists with the hardware, software, staff, and facilities necessary to perform their research. Which component of the TQB equation do you consider most important? (Remember: your deliverable is the research set-up—scientists and equipment—not the cure itself.)

Time The bovine form of the disease has produced a crippling effect on the beef and biotech-food industries by raising consumer alarm across the globe. More than 100 deaths have already been caused by vCJE, and many people fear that it will spread outside Europe before a cure is found. Your organization is in a hurry. Budget If the budget is limited, you may not be able to equip the scientists with the best research instrumentation. This might have direct impact on the resolution of the microscopes or the purity of the testing chemicals. The research and analysis team working with your scientists might be inadequate, meaning invaluable findings could be delayed or lost.

Quality If your project doesn 't thoroughly equip these scientists with the right kind of research gear, how can you expect them to find the cure? Answer: you can' t . The quality of the deliverable has a direct relationship to much they can discover and how quickly they can do it.

Because of the critical nature of the project, you' re forced to budget heavily due to the expensive hardware, expert staffing, and so on. You' re also very concerned about quality, because it feeds directly into what is presumably the next project"—the search for a cure. While it' s certainly possible that you could come up with a second-best resolution for vCJE, you' re looking for the ideal solution to the disease. Quality is of paramount importance.

But nothing prevents you from spending all this money and buying all this top-notch stuff quickly. Because of the TQB slider, if you introduce a well-funded budget and provide excellent quality staff and materials, the deliverable will come in on time.

Recall what I said about the point of the project—outfitting the company for the task, not finding a cure itself. Scientific research isn't something that ' s managed well by standard project methodologies, because you can't be assured of the deliverable, no matter how hard you try. If that were the case, then we could easily assemble a project to develop an anti-gravity device or a time machine.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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