The Yin and Yang of
successful project


June 2020

The Yin and Yang of successful project management

A manager with yearlong experience in drug development, Erik Carp decided to take the Diploma in Clinical Project Management at Atrium. He wanted to improve his own management skills and become even better at leading the project managers working on his team.

Stay sharp and keep learning

Erik Carp, leader in a global Contract Research Organization (CRO), strongly believes that even experienced managers or specialists must keep learning. He argues that to deliver today’s solutions you need to challenge your own understanding of drug development, constantly improve your skills and keep your knowledge up to date.  

“In my opinion this kind of training is relevant on a regular basis. Most of what I learned at the courses, I could relate to my previous experiences and this gave me an opportunity to see where I should improve. As a people manager today, one of your key tasks is to help people grow professionally. To achieve this, learning and continuous development must be part of your own DNA. Curiosity, the ability to learn and – importantly – apply learnings in your everyday work are essential competencies today in the workplace,” Erik states.

The essential balance between hard and soft skills

Atrium’s Diploma in Clinical Project Management consists of two modules of three days each. The first module focuses on ”hard skills” – how to manage your project – and the second module zooms in on ”soft skills” – how to lead your project team. Erik considers this a key strength of the Diploma and explains how it has yielded him a more profound understanding of what skills truly successful project managers have.

“Hard and soft skills are equally important to me. I have worked with project managers with all the right hard skills, including a full project management toolbox. However, they sometimes lacked so-called soft skills and could not build great project teams, where all members created synergy together and worked toward the same goals and timelines. Over the years, I’ve become increasingly aware of this balance, but it’s still not given enough focus. This is the first clinical project management training I’ve attended - or seen in Europe - where the balance between hard and soft skills was optimal,” Erik explains.

A need for industry specific project management

Erik contributed to the advisory board for the Diploma in Clinical Project Management because he sees a need in the international market for project management training focused on clinical drug development.

“After having participated in the modules, I am even more convinced that this is exactly what many drug developers need. Having such strong focus on our own industry means that guest lecturers and cases are highly relevant to participants, who share experiences and best practices. The issues and solutions we discussed during the modules were useful to all of us. With a strong link to drug development, it’s easy to apply what you’ve learned at the training in your daily work,” Erik wraps up.