Written by: Kayla Burrell, MS, CMS

Skilled project leadership is essential for guiding initiatives toward success and meeting goals and intentions. Capable leaders are crucial for keeping projects on track and delivering on their promises, underscoring the important role of experienced project managers in managing the complexities of diverse project resources.

Presentation OverviewBrown-Rayford-Marcia

On March 14, 2024, Marcia Brown-Rayford presented to the PMI Atlanta Clinical Research Forum attendees on "Why 65% of Project Executions Fail & How to Mitigate Costly Pitfalls". During this event, Marcia explained that for most mission-critical projects in life sciences today, missed deadlines and project failures have massive consequences that can result in billions of dollars in lost revenue. These projects fail largely due to challenges with people resources and process tools.

According to leaders in the field, the coordination of remote and office workers is the number one challenge, with the second challenge being the coordination of people from multiple firms onto one project team. Without capable project leaders at the helm, initiatives go astray, and a project's original goal or intent gets lost.

Among life science survey respondents in North America, 58% said teams composed of individuals from multiple organizations are important to successful project execution, but 63% expressed that managing such diverse and distributed team members made critical projects more difficult to execute. This observation highlights the need for experienced project managers who are adept at managing diverse project resources. The key to project execution is the "PEOPLE" (team); changing the composition of a project team (as needed) is essential to success.


  • Clinical trial delays are costly, but they can be mitigated.
  • For successful project execution, leaders must focus on how best to coordinate their team.
  • There are seven (7) ways to win in a new project execution environment:
    1. Invest in or become project quarterbacks (i.e., leaders)
    2. Upskill and get equipped to excel in the new environment (i.e., bridge the skills gap)
    3. Centrally coordinate and effectively prioritize the project portfolio
    4. Remember and trust the power of the WBS (work breakdown structure)
    5. Leverage external and/or supplemental expertise
    6. Conduct team readiness assessments
    7. Foster a collaborative work culture

Next Event

Join us at the next PMI Agile Forum on Thursday, May 09, 2024

Keynote Presentation: TBD

Register at www.pmiatlanta.org/events/event-calendar 

Event Pictures

Clinical-Res-240314-pic1 Clinical-Res-240314-pic2