May 19, 2009

Blogging with Biotech

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Portfolio Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Resource Optimization, Strategy Execution | 0 Comments

The Center for Business Practices' Strategy & Projects Summit is in full swing this morning, here in Cambridge Mass ... I'm blogging with a view of the Charles River, which is a nice change. And, speaking of change: the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council's here with us, listening to my CEO Kent Crawford do his presentation on the PMO - material drawn from our books on the topic.

I say, speaking of change, because last year at the Summit I chatted with a young man who worked for a Cambridge-based biotech firm and he had a familiar-sounding tale to tell: tasked with implementing portfolio management, he struggled to get his execs--doctors and scientists by training--to buy in to the process. As I recall, he said that they felt project management was both less of a rigorous "science" than they were used to dealing with, and more of a standardized approach than they liked to submit to--as people who were used to thinking of "academic freedom" in their approach to daily work.

What a difference a year makes!

Looking at the Mass Biotech website, we find not just our Ultimate PMO seminar being offered (and it is at capacity) but a meeting of the organization's Project Management committee coming up within the month, addressing how biotech companies can implement sustainable practices. Here's a quote:

Inherent in the concept of sustainability is the minimization of waste and reducing the use of natural resources to better match the rate at which they are replenished.

There's a nice resonance between this balancing of resource use with resource availability ... and the very same kind of resource balancing that PM practitioners are used to managing in terms of human resources. This may well be yet another area where the tenets of project management prove to be portable across industries, across sectors ... and even across the divide of a changing global economy and climate.

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