Session Details – June 13th

Track 1: Life Sciences Project Management Track

Objective of the Life Sciences Track (8 PDUs)

Share perspectives on the roles and responsibilities of program and project managers in a variety of Life Sciences environments. 

Executive Summary: The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and supporting educative materials provide a thorough explanation of the facts underlying the project management practice. However, ask yourself “Since passing the PMP, how often have I performed an Earned Value Analysis?” If you are working on government contracts, it may be mandatory. In fact, the practical application of project management practices vary widely by a number of factors, including industry, company history, project type, and business objective. This daylong series of round tables is designed to explore the diversity of the practical application of program and project management in the Life Sciences. We have engaged seasoned industry experts who acknowledge and practice the principles of program and project management and have experienced some of the challenges with implementing “gold standard” practices. Additionally, we will discuss the qualities that make a good project manager as well as how those qualities may vary by factors outside our control. 

Time: 10:15 am -11:30 am

Round Table: What is Life Sciences Project Management (LS PM)? Perspectives from industry experts
Chair: Paul Cook
Panelists: All
This session will examine the practical application of program and project management in the Life Sciences industry, how the industry adoption has affected productivity, how the practice has evolved in this environment, explore some of the variety of the practice, and identify those parameters that dictate the variety.  Participants should leave with a better understanding of the variety of practical applications and some of the challenges associated with implementing and accomplishing objectives. 

Time: 11:30 am -12:30 pm
Networking Lunch: Open table discussions of career paths.
(Also: Open Kanban Board to ask questions)

Time: 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm
Round Table:  What are the most important Life Sciences project management capabilities and how do I get there?
Chair: Jeff Killian
Panelists will represent experiences from pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, and large and small company perspectives.
This session will build on the previous session and provide access to panelists to answer questions about their perspectives on the question “What makes for a good project manager?” Everyone will share career stories and provide advice for getting started—whether they are new to project management or looking transition into the Life Sciences project management career path. Participants should leave with a better understanding of the qualities needed to drive projects as well as the resources that may help develop knowledge gaps.

Time: 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Round Table:  What are the differences between early- and late-stage product development?
Chair: Kristen Watson, Christel Hartshorn
This session will evaluate the variations of project management practices and needs across the product lifecycle, including factors contributing to the variation. Life Sciences product development is a long and arduous path that sometimes requires decades of investment. This session will introduce the Life Sciences product development lifecycle and some of the key milestones as well as evaluate the role of the project manager at each stage. Panelists will provide insights across the lifecycle, expose some of the challenges endemic to the phase of development, and share recommendations on how to approach resolving some of those challenges. Participants should leave with a better appreciation for the Life Sciences product development lifecycle and the ways that the project manager role varies according to phase. 

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm Coffee Break

Time: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Round Table: Managing the Life Sciences business environment: Small vs Large Company
This session will examine how the role of a program and project manager will vary depending on the maturity of the organization. The maturity model of program and project management practices will be examined, and the context for the challenges in the role will be discussed. We will focus on the different ways project managers operate in small versus medium versus large company environments and potential differences in project management skill-sets needed to be successful. Participants should gain a better understanding of expectations for performance across the company size/program and project management maturity, including potential differentiation of skill-sets needed in those environments.

Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Future of PM – Join this closing keynote session – Life sciences experts and panelists will answer career related questions.

End of Day: 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm – Networking opportunity

Track 2: Project Management Track

Objective of the Project Management Track (8 PDU’s)

Share perspectives on the roles and responsibilities of program and project managers with a focus on developing leadership and behavioral competencies.

Time: 10:15 am-11:30 pm

Managing Change with the Brain in Mind

Presenter: Carl Belack
All projects involve developing new products, services, or outcomes that will produce some type of organizational change. Unfortunately, the human brain does not react well to change. All change involves uncertainty, and an uncertain environment tends to be perceived with a negativity bias. This session will discuss the physical actions occurring in the brain amid uncertainty and the subsequent adverse resulting  emotional actions; it also addresses what you and your project team can do to minimize these adverse reactions and smooth the way for acceptance of the changes that your projects will produce.
Speaker: Carl Belack 

Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Networking Lunch: Open table discussions.
Also: Open Kanban Board to ask questions.

Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Leadership: Leading with Gratitude — Solutions to Boost Engagement and Innovation

21st Century Solutions to Boost Engagement and Innovation is presented here for leaders, aspiring leaders, and those who coach leaders and managers. Using gratitude to create a sustainable primordial foundation, one can experience key benefits such as healthier and goal-oriented leaders, motivated teams, and teams that are able to handle difficult and complex situations while learning and changing as needed. Some of the most successful CEO’s aspire to create a culture of gratitude. This session is packed with practical tools and tips, including a gratitude assessment, a sample plan for you and your team, plus a gratitude inventory. You will explore the benefits along with learning how to shift quickly to gratitude when facing a difficult situation. This is a useful workshop for those seeking to improve their leadership skills and obtain better outcomes in their personal and professional lives.

This is a workshop – Click here for details .

Time: 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Strategic Business Execution with Project Portfolio Management
Speaker: Te Wu (Ph.D, PfMP, PgMP, PMP, PMI-RMP)
In this session, Dr. Te Wu covers an important topic that program and portfolio managers face in their career path. Topics covered: addressing big challenges, reframing problems to find better solutions, beating the competition to market, winning over top talent, pitching ERP systems, managing organizational paralysis, and balancing life, work and more work!

2:15 pm to 2:30 pm Coffee Break

Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Speaker: Prof. Scott Taylor, Babson College and Case Western Reserve
Competencies of Outstanding Project Managers (Workshop)
In his article “Emotions and Social Intelligence Competencies for Project Management” Dr. Richard Boyatzis identifies 12 competencies that are regularly associated with high-achieving project managers. The competencies are all from the areas of cognitive, emotional, and social intelligence. In this session the speaker will discuss the brain science that lies behind these  competencies. He will also address “the intentional change process” – a methodology that anyone can use to help develop or increase these capabilities.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Management or Engagement? Optimizing Personal Interaction Skills
Speaker: Becky Winston (remote)
One of the PMBOK’s knowledge areas is Stakeholder Management. But stakeholders can’t really be managed. Rather, they need to be skillfully engaged by the project manager and project team. Of course, this requires a high level of personal interaction skills. These personal interactional skills require a fairly high degree of cognitive readiness. This session will describe the skill required to effectively engage stakeholders in order to produce optimum project outcomes.

Track 3: Agile Project Management

Objective of the Agile Project Management Track (8 PDU’s)

The sessions and the workshops will guide professionals who want to understand the and introduce agile processes.

Time: 10:15 am -11:30 am

An Agile Overview Using Practical Exercises and Games

Presenter: Silberman
Agile is everywhere. It is no longer just a tool or technique for the software development sector. Let us give you a practical overview of this discipline. We will focus on Scrum but you will get a feel for other leading methodologies. We will also review PMI’s Agile Practice Guide. You possibly have it on your desk (it came in bundled with PMBOK 6). So why not get dig into it. We will introduce you to Agile approaches, roles, and artifacts.  

Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Networking Lunch: Open table discussions.
Also: Open Kanban Board to ask questions)

Time: 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm


Presenter : Steve Daukas    
Scrum@Scale is a framework within which networks of Scrum teams operating consistently with the Scrum Guide can address complex problems, while creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. Such “products” may be hardware, software, complex integrated systems, processes, services, etc., depending upon the domain of the Scrum teams.         

Time: 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Using Lean/Kanban in your organization       

Presenter: Damon Poole
Why should you implement a Lean Kanban system? How can you beat a simplified production system that costs less, satisfies customers more, and takes the headaches out of management? A Kanban is system of signals used in lean to balance the flow of work, materials, and people to get a job done. Kanbans are used within agile software development, manufacturing, service deployment, construction, and just about anywhere people are implementing lean systems.            

2:15 pm to 2:30 pm Coffee Break

Time: 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

SAFe and the Lego Exercise 

Presenter: Raj Heda
According the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) authors, this agile approach helps businesses address challenges of developing and delivering enterprise-class software and systems in the shortest sustainable lead time. SAFe synchronizes alignment, collaboration, and delivery for multiple Agile teams. Scalable and configurable, SAFe allows each organization to adapt it to its own business needs. It supports smaller-scale solutions employing 50 – 125 practitioners, as well as complex systems that require thousands of people. (Read more at: During this session you will get a brief overview of Agile through a hands-on, multi-team, full-cycle, product-oriented Scrum simulation. Organized into Agile teams, you will learn what it means to build an iterative and modular product and experience hands-on some key concepts of Agile: backlogs, story point estimations, sprinting, demos & retrospectives.  

Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Project Management and Collaboration Platform for Teams

Presenter: Hive
Hive is a project management software that teams use to help teams work together and get things done. In this session you will get an overview and demo of the product. You will see it’s multiple views and features for teams to chat, plan and coordinate projects. You can view projects as: Kanban Boards, Calendars, Gantt Charts, or as Tables.