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Day in the life of a Clinical Data Management Project Manager

Posting date: 20/05/2024
Author: Inside ICON

Deepak is a Clinical Data Management Project Manager at ICON Strategic Solutions, the largest global provider of Functional Service Provision (FSP). He works as a dedicated resource within one of our sponsor embedded programs, a world-leading pharmaceutical company focused on leveraging cutting-edge science to make a positive impact in the therapeutic areas of cancer, cardio-metabolic, vaccines, and oncology, which makes up 70% of their portfolio.

In this blog, Deepak shares his experience working at ICON.

Tell us about your role and what you do at ICON

I lead cross-functional teams responsible for timeline management, risk identification and mitigation, and issue resolution. My role involves close collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, including study teams and vendors, to support clinical and IRT study projects. I spearhead communication efforts and work with a diverse team comprising Clinical Trial Supply, Global Clinical Operations, Biostatistics, Data Management, vendors, and others. My primary responsibilities include specifying, testing, implementing, and managing study-specific IRT systems based on Clinical Protocols. Additionally, I contribute to Investigator Meeting planning, communication plans, status update reports, and study closeout activities. 

Ensuring vendor system development processes align with he sponsor Quality and System Life Cycle expectations is a critical aspect of my role. I monitor system change requests, ensure adherence to IVRS standards, and work with clinical project teams to identify and implement system changes throughout their life cycle. I analyze system change requests, identify corrective actions for utilization of standards, investigate root cause analyses for production issues, and follow up with vendors on Service Level Agreements (SLAs). 

My responsibilities also include mentoring and training new personnel, conducting lessons learned sessions, initiating process improvements, managing project plans, timelines, and costing for assigned initiatives. I have extensive experience working on various therapeutic areas, including COVID-19, Immunology, Oncology, Cardiovascular, Vaccines, Special Diseases (Infectious), and more. I possess in-depth knowledge of clinical trial designs such as randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over studies, Basket trials, and Umbrella Trials. 

Furthermore, I actively contribute to ICON Buzz in the Biometrics Group by sharing knowledgeable company information, lessons learned, motivational content, and ICON achievements with clients. I also engage with the ICON community on LinkedIn by sharing motivational thoughts on behalf of ICON and ICON Strategic Solutions.

Why did you join ICON?

I joined ICON because it is one of the leading contract research organizations (CROs) in the market, offering the opportunity to work with top clients in the pharmaceutical industry. ICON serves as a comprehensive solution provider, allowing me to explore various career growth opportunities across different clients. 

ICON has been instrumental in facilitating my career progression. I started as a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Analyst and have advanced to the role of a Project Manager. This growth path is a testament to ICON's commitment to supporting its employees' professional development. 

As a leading CRO, ICON offers a broad range of specialized services to assist pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies in bringing new drugs and devices to market. This diverse portfolio presents great potential for growth and exposure to cutting-edge projects. 

What sets ICON apart is the collaborative environment fostered by team members and managers, who actively work to support individual career growth. The company culture is geared towards empowering employees to reach their full potential. 

Overall, ICON's reputation as a leading CRO, its emphasis on career development, and its supportive work environment make it an excellent choice for professionals seeking challenging and rewarding opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry.

How does ICON support your professional Career Development?

ICON supports my professional career development in several ways: 

1. Diverse Opportunities: As one of the leading CROs in the market, ICON offers a wide range of opportunities for its employees to grow within the company. Additionally, the exposure to ICON's extensive client base across various therapeutic areas provides valuable experiences and learning opportunities. 

2. Internal Career Advancement: ICON actively supports internal career progression. In my case, I was able to transition into a new role within the same client project, allowing me to gain valuable exposure and advance my career as a project manager. 

3. Professional Certifications: ICON recognizes the importance of continuous learning and skill development. The company sponsored and supported me in obtaining the "Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification," which has enhanced my capabilities in my project management role. 

4. Cross-functional Collaboration: Working at ICON involves collaborating with cross-functional teams, exposing me to different perspectives and approaches, which contributes to my professional growth. 

5. Mentorship and Guidance: ICON fosters a supportive environment where experienced professionals provide mentorship and guidance, enabling employees to learn from their expertise and insights. 

By providing diverse opportunities, facilitating internal career advancement, supporting professional certifications, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, and offering mentorship, ICON actively invests in the professional development of its employees. This commitment to employee growth aligns with ICON's position as a leading CRO, ensuring that its workforce remains skilled and adaptable to meet the evolving needs of the industry.

What is an accomplishment you’ve achieved at ICON of which you are most proud?

I have two significant accomplishments at ICON that I am most proud of: 

1. Career Progression: I joined ICON as a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Analyst, which provided me with valuable exposure to the Project Management realm. The experienced Project Managers in my team mentored and guided me, helping me shape my career goals towards becoming a Project Manager myself. In 2021, I was given the opportunity to transition into a Project Manager role, a testament to ICON's commitment to supporting internal career growth. Since then, I have found success in my current role as a Project Manager, effectively leading cross-functional teams and delivering projects efficiently. 

2. Professional Development: ICON recognized my desire for continuous learning and supported me in obtaining the "Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification." This certification has equipped me with valuable problem-solving skills and a structured approach to understanding and streamlining complex processes. The knowledge gained from this certification has been instrumental in overcoming challenges and barriers with ease, enabling me to excel in my Project Management responsibilities. 

These two accomplishments hold significant pride for me. The first demonstrates ICON's commitment to nurturing talent and providing opportunities for career advancement within the company. The second highlights ICON's emphasis on fostering professional development and supporting employees in acquiring new skills and certifications to enhance their capabilities. By investing in my growth, both professionally and through educational opportunities, ICON has empowered me to reach new heights in my career, and I am proud to be part of an organization that values and cultivates its employees' success.

What does ICON’S value of ‘Collaboration’ mean to you?

ICON's value of 'Collaboration' embodies the essence of teamwork, open communication, and collective effort to drive innovation and efficiency in clinical trials. At its core, collaboration means fostering an environment where global teams and stakeholders unite their diverse perspectives, expertise, and experiences to achieve successful outcomes. 

Collaboration at ICON extends beyond internal teams to encompass cross-functional synergy and active engagement with external partners, such as sponsors, vendors, and investigative sites. By breaking down silos and fostering transparent communication, we leverage the collective intelligence and knowledge of our global network, sparking innovative ideas and streamlining processes for enhanced efficiency. 

Moreover, collaboration at ICON is underpinned by a strong sense of integrity and responsibility. We strive to uphold ethical standards, take accountability for our actions, and build a foundation of trust within our collaborations, ensuring that we consistently do the right thing. 

Ultimately, collaboration is not just a value but a mindset that permeates ICON's daily operations. It empowers us to harness the power of diverse perspectives, expertise, and teamwork, delivering exceptional results and driving positive impact in the clinical trials we support.

What keeps you at ICON?

The primary factors that keep me at ICON are the exceptional team dynamics and supportive management. The collaborative environment fostered within my team is truly remarkable. My colleagues are always willing to lend a helping hand, creating a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual support. 

Moreover, my manager plays a pivotal role in my decision to stay at ICON. She exemplifies true leadership by actively supporting my career aspirations and providing guidance to help me enhance my professional growth. Her mentorship and advocacy for my development goals make me feel valued and motivated to continue contributing to ICON's success. 

The combination of a cohesive, compassionate team and an invested manager who prioritizes my career advancement creates an unparalleled work experience. This positive and nurturing environment not only fosters my personal growth but also reinforces my commitment to the company. ICON's culture of collaboration and career development makes it an exceptional place to work and thrive.

When you're not working, how do you like to spend your free time?

When I am not working, I enjoy spending quality time with my family. My boys are ages 6 and 5 years old. My wife and I enjoy playing soccer and baseball together, going for walks, teaching them to ride bikes, and playing with their favourite toys. It’s amazing how fast they grow, and I want to spend as much time with them as possible and to be a positive force in their lives.

If you're exploring new career opportunities, now is the time to browse our jobs in biometrics and take the next step in your career with ICON.

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