Being a project manager: a professional imperative!
- Since 2000, I have created, developed and led two large scale projects of research focusing on the Biomechanics. I have been the main active researcher and the leader of these two projects and several other projects since both in academia and health related industry.
- However, in 2003, it became clear that my role as project manager had to be more predominant to accommodate the successful expansion of these two projects. Consequently, I was appointed by QUT as Senior Researcher with the mission to insure the constant growth of these projects, in terms of grants, publications, links with industry partners, research team, etc.
- With this shift, I was able to further develop my deep interest in project management. My professional development was expanded to include a sound understanding of project management techniques and a competency in project management tools.
- These skills and techniques have been perfected while I was as Senior Research Fellow and Manager of the R&D Department of Med-e-Serv and in my current position as Professor of Biomechanics at UQAM.
Formal and on-the-job training in project management
I acquired substantial knowledge of several project management techniques through: Professional Certificate in Clinical Research (First Class Honors), including following courses:
- Clinical research contact and practice,
- Managing clinical research projects and teams,
- Basic clinical research tools,
- Responsibilities and ethics of clinical research,
- Future Research Leaders Program organised for UQ staff, which includes the following courses:
- Research strategy and planning,
- Commencement and collaboration,
- Governance and compliance,
- Intellectual property and commercialisation,
- Finance, resource and risk management,
- Grant and contract administration,
- Managing and leading people in research context,
- Project closeout,
- Discussions with experienced professionals and senior academics within the organisations,
- Personal readings of several books and/or CR-ROMs presenting different techniques,
- Information gathering through specialised web sites and group of interests.
Effective people management skills
- Over the course of my employments as researcher and manager both in academia and in the industry, I have been consistently managing front-line teams going up to 20 part-time and full-time staffs, including educators, engineers, technicians, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, students, and administrative staff.
- I believe my people, management and leadership abilities are well reflected in the results of the Leader Practice Inventory test I took as part of a course focusing on Managing clinical research projects and teams. This test revealed that my leadership style relies on the following characteristics:
- Enable others to act (83%)
- Modeling the way (75%)
- Inspiring a shared vision (75%)
- Encouraging the heart (67%)
- The results confirmed that my most significant strength is enabling others to act. This is particularly helpful when working as part of a multidisciplinary team. Indeed, it enabled me to assemble a multi-disciplinary back-line team of more than 70 experts in their chosen medical and health fields.
Consistent developments of effective relationships and collaborations
- Since 2000, I have developed relationships with more than 270 collaborators worldwide working in a wide range of medical professions, including: medical educators, surgeons, clinicians, prosthetists, physiotherapists, engineers, technicians as well as biomechanists.
- By essence, my academic activities have accommodated cross-facilities and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Consequently, I have developed collaborations with over 100 organizations in Australia and overseas, including universities or research institutions, care providers, industrials and other institutions.
- These relationships were effective as the term “collaborator” describes an individual who has been listed in the byline of publications, grant applications and/or formal research agreements.