For sponsors and CROs, the abundance of moving pieces involved with conducting a clinical trial can be overwhelming, and may seem endless at times for those empowered individuals or teams responsible for making decisions. The planning and / or discussions that factor into the eventual decision making are critical steps to ensure people are making the most informed decisions possible.
Teleconferences, action items, follow-up emails, review and approval of vital documents; these are all normal occurrences in the process of making critical decisions involved with a clinical research study. It is challenging to ensure that you have someone’s undivided attention via teleconference. It’s common to hear dogs barking, emails being typed, and background conversations during these calls. But how can we approach all of this in a more effective and efficient manner? How can we work to shorten project timelines and ensure target dates are met? Playing email and phone tag can be a stressful and drawn out endeavor that could potentially lead to delays in project timelines if not followed in great detail. So what are the other options?
Consider a face-to-face working session.
A face-to-face meeting is one of the most effective and efficient ways of making important decisions involved with a project. Getting all the key project decision makers in a room and conducting a working session that encompasses key project deliverable reviews and discussions can be difficult to schedule, but if possible, can make a world of difference. A face-to-face meeting gives all the appropriate parties the opportunity to voice their insights and opinions, and work towards achieving the objective at hand to move the project along. It also adds the often over-looked human element to a meeting. Being able to see a person’s reactions to certain discussion points may help to provide useful insight and may help to move the conversation forward.
In my experience as a project manager at BBK, I have had the opportunity to be part of some key face-to-face meetings for clinical research studies, both large and small. The biggest takeaway that comes out of these meetings is the feeling of accomplishment – knowing that vital decisions were discussed, agreed upon, and moved forward without any further delay. Not to mention, it gives each person involved the opportunity to connect on a more personal level, which leads to a stronger working relationship. Being able to put a face to a voice during future teleconferences, and having a better sense of how a person thinks can offer a feeling of comfort for a person, and could lead to a stronger working partnership for the remainder of the project.
So the next time there are important decisions to be made in a clinical trial setting, ask yourself: would a face-to-face meeting be more beneficial? If yes, I hear Miami is nice this time of year.