The Statistician as Project Manager: Strategies for Success and Serenity (304811)*Jennifer Thompson, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Keywords: leadership, project management, collaboration, influence, professional development
Statisticians and data scientists are often some of the few team members to work on every aspect of a project. From defining research or business questions through interpretation, communication, and dissemination of results, we’re ideally involved at every step, “translating” and coordinating between different teams. Often we’re doing this in collaboration with multiple teams or research groups, simultaneously trying to keep major projects moving forward in the midst of ad hoc requests. Our training largely focuses on technical skills, yet in our inherently collaborative positions, we often find ourselves taking on some roles of project management.
Though our interests and/or natural abilities may lend themselves to those roles, most of us are neither trained in those responsibilities, nor are we always recognized or rewarded for developing them. We’ll discuss strategies for prioritizing our technical work and development while successfully keeping analytical projects on track, and ideas for recognizing data scientists who perform well on these “soft skills” not traditionally incorporated into promotion criteria.