Project Management Institute

Pharmaceutical Project Management

Is It Different?

Just how different are the project management processes practiced in the pharmaceutical industry from those used in other industries such as construction, engineering, and aerospace? This article examines this question, and in doing so, it briefly discusses the project management tools and skills common to all industries before it focuses on the practices that are common to managing pharmaceutical research and development efforts. It describes the process of pharmaceutical projects and the structure--and nature--of pharmaceutical project teams. It then explains the key differences between pharmaceutical projects and projects in other industries, differences related to the nature of the final product and the focus of the project approach. It also identifies the challenges unique to pharmaceutical projects, challenges such as clinical costs and incompressibility-product stability, product shelf-life, patient dosing, and un-allocable experts and specialized resources.
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