VIRTUAL AND COLLOCATED PROJECT TEAMS IMPACT ON PRODUCTIVITY IN MEDICAL DEVICE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Baecher, Gregory B
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Two project management environments, virtual and collocated project teams, were researched and analyzed in this dissertation to determine the impact in productivity in medical device research and development. The relationship between virtual and collocated project teams and project management levers was also explored in this dissertation using four case studies. This case study methodology was performed based on the lack of past research to explore virtual and collocated project teams in four research and development medical device environments. The following project management levers were integrated into the research: environment (virtual and collocated project teams), leadership, meetings, team maturity (knowledge and experience/expertise), continuous process improvement, and information communication technology processes. The research contributes to medical device research and development organizations that utilize virtual and collocated project teams and suggests best practices to improve productivity. This also provides project team members potential ideas into improved productivity. Both project team environments were viewed as effectively achieving productivity. The results of the four case studies indicated no significant differences between virtual and collocated project teams productivity. Minor differences were found across the project management levers in the case studies. The following major recommendations are made for improving productivity in future virtual and collocated project team environments: medical device research and development organizations should give additional attention to more up-front planning to determine risks, resources, continued process improvement, information communication technology, and leadership needed to complete the project; leadership and project management training should be provided, they should continue to seek a balance in project team resources and the level of project team maturity (knowledge and experience/expertise); meetings need to be performed efficiently and have an agenda and information communication technology tools need to be fully utilized and integrated across medical device research and development project teams.