Programa GAIA

Master in Decision Making & Innovation

Hello Gaians!

We would like to congratulate all the teams that delivered the documents for the three projects they had to work on. Overall, it has been a brilliant work!

Ok, let’s focus on more details…

We intended that students enrolled in this compulsory unit were motivated as long as team-membership was set up on the condition of three students belonging to the same companies. It was possible almost in all cases.

On top of it, we announced that you were going to be part of a project with the potential of curing many human diseases editing the DNA using CRISPR technology.

We’re going to review the 7 deliverables we asked for. The assessment of these documents is based on specific Evaluation Criteria, described in the Activity Section.

An important skill for a Project Manager is to be able to focus on the important thing; those things that add value to the organization, and the value is to focus on the objectives. In doing so, you have to keep in mind that your goals were to upload the deliverables described in the workout. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Let’s see each of the deliverables:

1) Detailed Organization System setup.

When you start a project working in a virtual environment, it’s important to ensure a communication and document management system. It is because one of the most important skills in Project Management is communication, which does mean something more than talking much.

The main idea in this first point was that the groups stopped to think about the organization of the different tasks: who was going to do what and when? This first step was essential in order to have a clear idea about the timeline of the project and the organization in that timeline of the different tasks the group needed to develop to complete the 7 deliverables.

2) DO the risk matrix for the real project.

Risks means those issues that you can identify and define as potential issues that can have negatively influence in getting success, in trial tests for instance. There are positive issues that are called opportunities. The client understands that it is an innovative project and there isn’t any experience in managing this project… that’s why they have hired your team!!!

The main objective was that the group could identify those factors that could affect in a positive or negative way the real project: apply CRISPR technology in humans.

3) The survey exhibit for the FDA.

We know that many of you feel you have fallen into a trap because Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) disease means you have to deal with blind people. Sorry, we did not tell you! Though a quick search on the Internet reveals it. Please bear in mind that, in Project Management, it is important to have the requirements clear; it’s the only way to align the company and client’s goals.

An old proverb says “None so blind as those who will not see”. And reminding this proverb I refer to you… Gaians. There were some groups that haven´t take into account that people with LCA can´t see so, in consequence, they cannot read, so they won´t be able to complete your survey. A Braille adapted version of your survey is the best way to solve this requirement 

4) DO the Kanban for China´s Health Authorities.

We noticed that most of your Kanban are quite elaborated. Remember that the main objective was to elaborate a Kanban for the Chinese authorities. In our personal opinion, we would have posted almost all the tasks in “to do” category. For those struggling with this part of the activity, please use a virtual Kanban tool. Here, you can find one for free and working offline: Kanban

5) A clear identification of the stakeholders for NHS’s project.

Apparently, it was one of the easiest deliverables. We demanded you the “identification” of the stakeholders. Some people provided a list, others add supporting reasons. An important stakeholder to take into account is the animal rights activists. Monkeys are primates. Our family! In addition, the tip provided by Marlon Molina in the Webinar could have helped you a lot: “Whoever can stop your project is a stakeholder”.

6) The REAL objectives and a REAL WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) detailed at least in 3 levels required by NHS.

WBS is a breakdown structure where you list all of the activities you need to develop the project, but in the last level for the WBS are the minimum efforts to deliver one activity o basic task. This structure is oriented to a hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team, because of that, there are levels to define and describe all of the work packages. Once you have the WBS, you will have to schedule these activities and maybe to develop a Gantt diagram; all of that is for a traditional Project Management. Remember that it was important to take into account the information about the breaking news of the NHS.

7) The Quality Assurance Plan and the Quality Control Plan required by NHS.

We are conscious this deliverable was quite challenging if teams had not elaborated a complete and articulate WBS. Let’s say the workouts’ reviews shed light on which teams did a formulation of the plans and which ones only reproduced the previous knowledge that team members had.

The Quality Assurance Plan establishes the independent reviews and checks that you need to ensure that the quality control is done. On the other hand the Control Quality Plan, is based on the internal reviews that you need to meet the quality goals and requirements.

All in all, bearing in mind that the challenge is one that most of recent graduates are not used to, I think most of the teams did a “decent” job.

I would consider hiring any of those teams. That’s a glimmer of hope for our society, which needless to say is in acute shortage of people able to understand and being interested in scientific progress and its application to our future.

Remember that, according to PMI, to be a good Project Manager, you don’t need to be an expert in the field or knowledge area of the project; you just need to be a good project manager and, according to Marlon Molina, control is the key.

Academic Team

GAIA Program

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