I have been searching for a good way to manage projects and ideas within the lab. I especially want to find a way to motivate creativity and productivity. My belief is that much of what has worked in the IT industry could be used to improve innovation in academic labs (like blogging!). Most of the project management software I am aware of didn’t look like a good fit. I am a big fan of google docs and found a very useful platform, called ManyMoon (http://www.manymoon.com/), that interfaces with Google Docs and functions as a personnel and project management platform. I have been using it to set up a structure for the lab and believe that it will work well in the long term with some tinkering….
The company kindly highlighted the Gregg Lab recently, (even though it doesn’t quite exist yet) and the manner in which I am attempting to use their platform. Here is the link to the article:
Other ideas I am planning for the lab include:
1.) A large flatscreen monitor, which is being designed into the construction of the lab and will allow people to post ideas, papers, findings, art, pictures, etc. from their computers to communicate and promote innovation and interaction with others in the lab.
2.) A small budget (when grants allow) for individual innovation projects in which students/postdocs can attempt to begin to develop high-risk high-reward ideas on their own within a limited budget without fear of failure. Special lab meetings will be set aside for these projects in which we will discuss pig picture problems and emerging technologies and ideas. The idea is inspired by Google, which allows some employees to spend a certina percentage of their time on their own private projects and ideas….this has lead to many great breakthroughs for that company and I hope to experiment with it in different ways in an academic setting.