This is not an uncommon occurrence in research, as hypotheses fail in the face of data, additional controls become necessary, and experiments need to be redesigned.
Smaller transitions also occur between project control and execution and sometimes timelines need to be altered due to uncontrollable circumstances (like mice that just won’t breed).
Know roughly which phase you are in, write down your short-, mid-, and long-term goals often, check back on them regularly, and continually readjust based on your current position and abilities in order to maximize what progress you do make.
This project management approach is not unique or limited to giant projects like a dissertation.
Conception and Initiation: This begins the day you walk into your thesis lab and your advisor hands you a stack of papers and says “here, this will get you up to speed.” During this phase the most important parts are learning as much as you can in your classes (for future reference) and in your lab so that you will be able to understand the basics. Go over the experiments to be done, and figure out why they are being done. Ideally, you will have more than one research goal at a time, so that if one does not work or takes significantly longer than you planned, you will have an additional, worthwhile project to focus your efforts on once you start.
This phase culminates with a formalized process known as the comprehensive exam, where you submit a written proposal outlining your planned dissertation research.Authors should make contributions of specialized research to project, program, and portfolio management and its governance theory and to the theory of the project-oriented organization or project network.They should define any specialized terms and analytic techniques used.Authors should strive to be original, insightful, and theoretically bold; demonstration of a significant value-added advance to the understanding of an issue or topic is crucial to acceptance for publication.Multiple-study papers that feature diverse methodological approaches may be more likely to make such contributions.considers all papers in the project, program, or portfolio management field and its governance, or in the fields of project-oriented organizations and networks.We do not attach a greater significance to one methodological style over another.Rather, it is about getting all of your information together so that you know what needs to get done to complete your dissertation.Substitute “a dissertation” for “battle” in the Eisenhower quote below and you get the idea: 3.Katie Shives is a Ph D candidate in Microbiology at the University of Colorado.During her free time she writes about microbiology-related topics at microbematters.org, kdshives.com, and on Twitter @KDShives.