Meet Dena Digweed – Project Director, MRN

1.) How long have you worked at MRN?

As an employee since the start of April 2021 following freelance work.

2.) A typical day in the life of Project Management at MRN would look like?

A minimum of two hours a day in Client and associated meetings and around a further two focussed on process currency and implementation with emphasis on achievement of documented project oversight and core project activities. Engagement in continuous improvement projects, a significant emphasis for MRN, averages out at a further hour a day. The remainder of the day involves enabling the project team to deliver their milestones to the best of their ability and to target.

3.) In your opinion, what makes a great Project Manager at MRN?

Projects are challenging and vary in specificity, incredibly complicated to operationalise and therefore necessarily process driven. Consistency, commitment to process adherence, attention to detail, good organisational, communication and problem-solving skills are a must. Having passion for such a worthwhile service also pays dividends.

4.) What made you want to join MRN?

I have been working in Pharma for 32 years but mainly for Sponsors as a freelancer, so experience with a CRO was appealing and presented a challenge. Also, I was interested in the Decentralized Trials model in its infancy and, as expected, it has turned out to be incredibly worthwhile.

5.) What’s the best thing about your role?

The client facing element and the fact that it’s very varied; all clients are different. I enjoy the challenge of aligning my approach with each specific client, it is really rewarding. I also like juggling lots of balls which definitely goes with the territory and aiming to deliver an excellent service which not only meets the Client’s requirements but also exceeds their expectations.

6.) What 3 words best describe MRN for you?

Inclusive – Enabling – Approachable

7.) What does MRN offer you?

The opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience in an area in which I’ve worked little to date. It provides the chance to apply my generic project management skills in a different forum. MRN also gives me an opportunity to bring a different experiential perspective to the table.

8.) Do you have advice for anybody who wants to work in your field?

Keep turning up, view failure as an opportunity for growth and be consistent when executing the core tasks that form part of project management.  Recognise, and work to, your strengths, identify your limitations and plan the development needed to improve. Understand that you are nothing without a successful team and ensure each member is valued, supported and enabled to perform their role to the best of their ability. In both internal/external team and in Client-facing interactions prepare thoroughly, strive to deliver well and evaluate to inform and enable development.  Working in Pharma is worthwhile and be grateful for the opportunity to play a part in making a difference to society.

9.) What motivates you to work hard?

I fear regret.  To avoid this, I aim to do everything to the best of my ability to achieve that gut feeling after each task that I have given it my best shot.

10.) What is your favorite thing about your career?

I never once as a child knew what I wanted to do and simply pursued my strengths.  I have nevertheless been very fortunate to have had the opportunity throughout my career to apply my education and my strengths in many ways. Furthermore, the opportunity to overcome some earlier weaknesses has been challenging and fulfilling. I can honestly say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve done; whilst I lacked direction when growing up I most certainly look back without regret.