17

Are there books/writing on project management as applied to scientific research (for PhD students and higher)?

I am looking for something synonymous to Scott Berkun's "Making Things Happen", which was written for software developers. Other interesting and useful practices I am familiar with include Agile and Extreme Programming. Maybe I am looking for sources on comparing research process to product development.

Just to be clear, this is not question about software, but about practices.

  • 1
    I've found thinking about my research lab as a startup company to be useful. The lean startup is an well known example that helped shape how I manage my projects. – Adam Bosen Nov 3 '16 at 17:22
  • I am not sure but I think the Manhatan project was under project managment regulation, and it was a research. – llrs Nov 11 '16 at 14:17
5
+50

A number of things spring to mind. The first is communication of goals and time lines, and I'd just point to Gantt and PERT charts. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but the key is to make sure that everyone knows and understands what needs to be done, when it needs to be done by, and who is responsible for what.

The second is the amorphous management trees that come up in research environments. A great discussion and treatment of this is in Project Management, by Heerkens -- https://www.amazon.com/Project-Management-Second-Briefcase-Books/dp/0071818480. It doesn't speak to research, but projects in general, and a project is a project. I really like his treatment of the "accidental manager", where you find yourself in a position of responsibility managing people who you have no real control or influence over.

  • 1
    the key is to make sure that everyone knows and understands what needs to be done, when it needs to be done by, and who is responsible for what - this is very important. In my experience, we usually fall to know what and when research tasks need to be done, because that's the nature of research! – Ooker Jan 2 '17 at 9:33
3

A while ago I read a paper [1] about SCORE, an agile method for managing research groups. I have not really tried to apply it at my research group, but we had good experience with using Scrum for the software development aspects of our research projects.

[1] M. Hicks and J. S. Foster, “SCORE: agile research group management,” Commun. ACM, vol. 53, no. 10, pp. 30–31, Oct. 2010. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1831407.1831421

3

A free book full of useful insights for coordinating research within teams is "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science" (2013).

  • It is not project management exactly but more general you can read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. – Open the way Nov 10 '16 at 21:11
3

It is not project management exactly but more general you can read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.