Agile project management taught to students and researchers at Karolinska Institutet

On 4-5 October, a unique course in Agile Project Management will take place at Karolinska Institutet, the medical university in Stockholm. The initiative comes from Peter Solsjö – biomedicine nerd, communicator, and Agile enthusiast.

“In this weekend workshop, students and doctoral students will be introduced to agile and scrum ideas,” Peter Solsjö says. “It will take place at the student union at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and can be seen as a kind of satellite event of the yearly CHaSE career fair. Using an experimental approach, we will investigate if KI is ready for agile science!”

Peter Solsjö describes himself as a biomedicine nerd with “a background in a bit of this and that” – ranging from medical research on the thyroid, to advocacy and PR-work in the life science sector in Sweden.
– I have a passion for medicine and technology and in my spare time, I read and explore the world.

Working as a quality assurance officer at Astra Zeneca in Stockholm, Peter Solsjö came in contact with agile as a working method. “I was struck by the manner through which structure was created easily in a complex organization,” he says. “This provided room for thought-through improvements in different areas and clearer communication among many stakeholders. Agile is a great working philosophy for staying nimble yet structured in a chaotic high-tech world.”

Personally, Peter Solsjö would define the concept of “agile science” as a framework used to create the most value in research out of the least amount of effort – this by re-considering traditional project management. “Agile as a philosophy goes hand in hand with research since it adopts the scientific method and adheres to empiricism as the cornerstone in critical decisions,” he says. “However, to structure research and reach scientific insights quicker agile tools may provide structure to the lab workflow, that might sometimes be missing, or help expand the hypothesis horizon.”

So what pieces of advice would you give to the science person who is curious about agile stuff?

  • Read the Agile Manifesto and consider what it means for your workday or spare time project.
  • Learn one agile tool really well. I recommend starting with Scrum or Kanban.
  • Test your new skills in your everyday life. Try, fail and repeat until you succeed!

For more information, please contact Peter Solsjö at email address.

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