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Table 3 What was learned about project management that worked well?a

From: Researchers' experience with project management in health and medical research: Results from a post-project review

Researchers' (n = 15) opinions
Clearly defined roles for the key project organisers facilitated all aspects of the study.
Need for pre-arranged and regular meetings and good documentation.
The benefits of inclusion eg. for myself who was not onsite. Despite this I felt there were ample opportunities for me to express any concerns.
Being able to specify who does what and when (timeline) was invaluable to ensuring that tasks were completed in a timely manner.
For me personally it was the accountability of tasks. It did not appear that anything fell off the radar as tasks were allocated and a note kept of the task work and completion.
Objective on-task focus enabled project direction, obstacle avoidance and project completion.
The importance of documentation from start to finish.
Have the project team meet separately and feed into the Steering Committee.
Setting up monthly meetings same time and venue appeared to facilitate attendance by committee members attending from various organisations. Having a very organised project manager was crucial to the success of the project management and this degree of organisation in communication, planning and decision making allowed for committee members to offer the project their expertise despite many other commitments. It was an effective structure to have the project team situated within the Steering Committee. This allowed the project team members to work intensively together on specific tasks and allowed that small group to be equipped with the necessary detailed knowledge of those tasks to make effective decisions on behalf of the Steering Committee. Having a dedicated note-taker was a real asset. This allowed for objective informed detailed and accurate records and fast circulation of notes to committee members.
The constant attention to detail that was documented meticulously and circulated regularly.
The importance of identifying and documenting each step of the project at the beginning and setting timelines and also identifying potential risks.
The project management document provided a sound foundation for managing the project. It highlighted the importance of someone taking on the role of project manager. Spend the time needed to set the project management structure and processes up at the beginning which was done for this project, rather than as you go. Fix dates for meeting-as was done for this project.
Don't know (n = 1).
No response (n = 2).
  1. aAdapted from 'lessons learned' [15, 23]