"All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination." - Earl Nightingale
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” – Earl Nightingale

Of all the brilliant ideas that exist, so very few are turned into a reality. Many attribute this to a lack of initiative or simply poor planning. How can you keep up the enthusiasm for a great project from start to finish?

You’re starting day one on your new project, and it’s time to have an introductory meeting with your team. While there are probably several familiar faces, it is important to establish your role as Principal Investigator and to give a strong foundation to the project. From the very first meeting, you need to establish an open and productive working environment for the team. Establishing trust from your team will be vital and important to maintain throughout the course of the project.

In your role as the Principal investigator, you are the person in control and responsible for every aspect of the project from initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, to closing the project. There are a number of steps involved in starting a new project, many of which overlap with each other, but with the help of project management concepts you can lead your team to success.

First, you need to build your team’s trust to generate feelings of confidence and expectations for the project’s outcomes. The team should be inspired to perform their duties knowing that their PI is supportive of their needs and is knowledgeable and has their own level of confidence in their abilities. There are many situations when you will need to demand that protocols are followed closely, however you also need to establish open communication with your team so that team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, discussing roadblocks, and troubleshooting problems. As PI, it is vital for your team to see that you are committed to the project’s success and to see your enthusiasm and drive for the project.

As you begin to step through the stages of project management, always remember the common vision and goal for the project and do not lose sight of the shared cause.