Pharma: Not Everyone is a Project Manager But Everyone Manages Projects

The other day, a client asked me to define “project management.” I defined it broadly as the organization and management of work in an effective and useful manner. Based on that definition, I asserted that everyone in the pharmaceutical industry is a project manager. And I suggested that the more important question is not what project management is, but how we can do it more effectively.

Project Management Tools

I don’t think it’s a matter of waiting for something new to appear. With years of experience managing a variety of teams, I’m amazed at how much the tools have evolved and improved in the last 3 to 5 years. Even so, many pharma teams still use email, shared drives, and Excel spreadsheets to manage their work.

Plenty of others are using SharePoint. While some have embraced it as a truly collaborative platform, most are still employing SharePoint as a “glorified shared drive.”  They don’t use it as a bona fide project management tool.

Outsourcing, partnerships, remote workers, and other trends amplify the need for effective project management. We need to use collaboration tools like SharePoint to make dramatic improvements in how we manage our work and our teams.  And that’s true whether you’re an uppercase “Project Manager” or a lowercase “project manager.”

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