“Developing an Estimate you can live with” Project Management in a Research Environment.
Project management is a tailorable methodology meaning it has utility in a host of disciplines. Adapting project management to scientific research is extremely challenging, especially in addressing the amount of uncertainty encountered in the early stages of life cycle development. How we address uncertainty in projects that are always one of a kind has become more art than science. My presentation talks about how we at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University tailor the project management framework to suit our scientific efforts. We push the envelope of magnet technology to create a world-class suite of research magnets that reveal the secret workings of materials and unlock secrets that allow us to develop new technologies. We use high magnetic fields to understand existing energy sources better while exploring new ones that fundamentally change the way we store and deliver energy. We use potent magnets that create highresolution images to ascertain the nature of living structures and investigate disease at a nearly cellular level in real-time. All of this generates a high degree of uncertainty that must be accounted for when developing estimates for proposals designed to secure funding through federal grants.