Keys to Successful Biotechnology Engineering Project Management
As anyone in biotechnology knows, it is a rapidly expanding field. Grandview Research reports that the global market is expected to reach $727 billion by 2025. Consequently, both biotech companies and the project management and engineering firms that support them are eagerly pursuing new projects. Initiatives related to regenerative medicine and genetics in diagnostics will likely play a major role, as Grandview notes that, “Presence of a plethora of companies focusing on the development of regenerative therapies is anticipated to drive sector growth through to 2025.”
However, as biotechnology companies in all areas look to get research facilities up and running quickly, it is important that those efforts are guided by solid project management principles. Failure to carefully coordinate a biotechnology design and construction project can result in a number of negative consequences including:
- Delays. Poorly managed projects frequently deviate from established timelines.
- Cost overruns. Without proper planning and ongoing oversight, projects frequently exceed their budgets.
- Failure to meet operational needs. Design and build projects without proper guidance may result in a facility that doesn’t achieve all its functional objectives.
- Safety issues. One of the most serious consequences of poor project management is failure to meet all safety requirements. This can result in costly revisions.
- Disappointed clients and damage to reputation. When a biotechnology research or production facility doesn’t come online on time or struggles to produce high-quality output, the situation can have a negative impact on current business relationships and opportunities down the line.
What to Look for in a Biotechnology Project Management Firm
While a biotechnology design firm’s engineering skills are important, its project management capabilities are also crucial. When evaluating providers, there are certain key considerations to keep in mind, including that the firm should have:
- A fully developed project management process. Some providers only have systems in place for managing certain phases of a project. You want to work with a firm that coordinates activities from kickoff to ribbon cutting and beyond.
- Excellent communication. A firm’s project managers must excel at communicating complex ideas clearly, both verbally and in writing. And, the ability to communicate effectively requires the ability to listen carefully.
- A commitment to client service. There is no overstating the importance of working with a firm that has a “can do” attitude. In the course of any complex project it is quite possible that everything from technical requirements to business objectives will change. Your firm should be willing and able to take it all in stride.
- Clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Who should be scheduling meetings? Assigning tasks? Ensuring follow through? Presenting progress reports? If there isn’t an assigned “owner” of every aspect of project management, it is easy for tasks to slip through the cracks.
- Comprehensive documentation. Every phase of a biotechnology design and construction project must be fully documented. This is important both as a reference internally and related to any compliance requirements.
- A commitment to process improvement and staff development. In biotechnology engineering as any field, processes are continually evolving. For a project management firm to be effective, it must keep up with changes in the field and ensure that its team members are properly educated.
- Advanced project management technology. Although the skill and experience of a firm’s project management team is of primary importance, it is also essential that they use advanced project management tools. Doing so delivers a number of benefits from more efficient work to more effective communication.
- Strong leaders. The individuals that run an organization set the standard for the work done by the firm’s staff. Quality work starts with quality leadership.
The Many Facets of Project Management
Too often, companies see project management as simply a record keeping and “to do” list management function. However, effective project coordination involves much more. It should include:
- Project coordination
- Project controls
- Construction management
- Capital planning
When you work with an engineering and project management company that offers this full array of services, you greatly increase the likelihood of success for your project.
APECS achieves outstanding results in biotechnology design and construction projects because of our 30+ years of experience helping our clients meet their engineering, design, project management, portfolio management, capital planning, and environmental health & safety needs. Contact APECS, Inc. today to learn more about how we can help with your biotech initiative.