Chapter 4: Managing Translational Informatics Projects

Intended audience

Managers of Translational Informatics Projects

Why is this important

Translational Informatics projects are increasingly cross-institutional and even international; however, managing them comes with many shared pain points. This guidance will help anyone who is organizing or managing cross-functional distributed teams that develop code or that analyze data across the translational divide. Specifically, we will introduce several practical tools and techniques for managers to facilitate these kinds of endeavors. Exercises in the companion tutorial will familiarize participants with helpful tools and techniques, and help them make informed decisions about which tools might work best for their particular contexts. We conclude with a session wherein all participants are welcome to share additional pain points and related experience.


Pick the project management technique that is appropriate for your project (Agile, Waterfall Model, Kanban, etc)

Understand the implications of that management technique for the full lifecycle of your project

Get familiar with your (diverse) stakeholders

Have a process for team onboarding (Some guidance here for using forms)

Have a process communications

Have a process for shared document management

Organize work into a roadmap that is clear and achievable

Pick the work tracking platform that is right for your (whole) team

Focus your planning efforts in discrete horizons (eg. 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years)

Make sure that all of the work that is planned is also assigned

Don’t make security or licensing an afterthought

Don’t be afraid to course correct


Thanks to Justin Ramsdill for the Agile introduction (also linked from the MTIP tutorial site).