Project management and scheduling for a scientific team
July 16, 2014 5:42 AM Subscribe
I am part of a large collaborative lab-based project. We are currently disorganized and inefficient and are are looking for some project management systems or tools.
I’m currently working in a university lab consisting of 15 volunteers as part of an international science competition called iGEM. It's a collaborative project where everyone gets together on a weekly basis, comes up with ideas, and then as a team we get those ideas to work in the lab. I’m looking for some project or workflow management tools that can help us be more efficient.
In the lab, there are multiple experiments/streams of work running at the same time. Each person may be involved in multiple streams, and they come in to the lab 2-3 days a week or whenever they have time to do lab work.
The problem at the moment is that no one knows what’s going on in any other experiment besides the one they are working on. As a result, people don’t know what needs to be done. No one, even the leader, knows where we're at with everything at any given time, which makes scheduling impossible.
This results in inefficiencies. For example, Person A will start an experiment and then can’t come in for the next few days for whatever reason. In the interim that experiment doesn’t progress, even though Person B may have capacity to continue the work. So, we have these islands of work being done, with people being unable to see what else they can do in the lab.
I’d like to find some sort of system or groupware that would allow us to easily see what work is underway and what needs to be done next. It would also be great if we could somehow assign this work to specific team members on specific days. This would allow us to schedule in people based on what needs to be done.
I had a look around but I couldn’t find anything specifically designed for this application. However, I imagine there must be some kind of task management/scheduling tool out there that we could use. Thanks in advance for your help!