Keeping track of all the projects that you are involved with can be challenging. New laboratory-management software, including Web-based tools, can facilitate documentation, data sharing, planning, controlling and synchronization. “It is not very complicated to set up,” says Krishnan. “You can even use a spreadsheet or an electronic calendar to create a pretty good management system. If it becomes a bigger team, you may have to turn to commercial, off-the-shelf software. It is important to facilitate the process and not spend more time organizing the organization tools.”
“Becoming an effective leader is a continuous process of evaluation, trimming and progress,” Krishnan concludes. “In my experience, trimming is something we usually don’t do; we keep adding! In my own research, I try to do more trimming and focus on a few high-impact projects. Prioritization is a key ability to develop over the years. A successful leader in research science understands which projects are the most important for the laboratory and which ones are not worth their time.”
Fabian V. Filipp (email@example.com) is a Burnham Fishman postdoctoral fellow at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.