Contact UsDiana Bartlett
Assistant Vice President,
Phone: (909) 607-9864
Email: diana_bartlett[at symbol]kgi.edu
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best kind of project for a TMP?
Just about any opportunity or problem can be addressed through the TMP process. Good project topics deal with matters that are important to the organization, but for which few resources exist. In addition, any area that benefits from an interdisciplinary approach – for example, cost- and technology-justification models for prioritizing drug targets - makes an excellent TMP.
The sponsoring company identifies a liaison for the team – what qualifications should this person have?
The corporate liaison plays a crucial role in TMP success. The liaison role is much more than a “when I get time” responsibility. Ideally, team involvement should become an explicit part of the individual’s job description for the duration of the project. Our most successful corporate liaisons report spending from two to four hours per week on the project.
Not only does the liaison help ensure that the project remains on track and that its goals continue to be relevant, but he/she serves as the gateway to the rest of the organization.
Ideally, the liaison is thoroughly knowledgeable about the project topic, has excellent communication skills, and can work successfully with bright young graduate students.
Also, the liaison should have adequate authority within your organization to make timely decisions and obtain organizational buy-in.
Our company can’t wait nine months for results – is there any way to complete the project more quickly?
Yes, fast-track TMPs can run from January-May, providing outcomes in a much shorter turnaround than the traditional nine month TMP model.
How much does a TMP cost? And are there additional fees involved?
The TMP fee is $50,000 – or about $25/hour for the 2000 hour student team time investment. Historically, all costs – including a modest amount of travel, supplies, conference fees, and the like –have been covered by this sum. Should significant equipment purchases or extensive travel be involved with a project, KGI is willing to negotiate with the sponsor.
What if we have so many projects that it would be difficult to identify just one for a team?
TMP sponsors – especially repeat clients – often face this dilemma. Here are some criteria that can be used to select an opportunity:
• Project time frame is aligned with the September to May calendar
• The project can be successfully managed from a distance.
• The project requires interdisciplinary skills
• The project needs a mix of both business and scientific input
• There is an internal champion for the project who can serve as organizational liaison to the team
If we sponsor a TMP, do we get to choose the students for the team?
Since the TMP is a curricular element, final student and faculty assignments are made by the Dean. However, it is common for companies to start the project during a summer internship, with the student intern transitioning to the project team in the fall.
Sounds great, but I don’t have time to even think about a project. How can you help?
Email us a one sentence description of your top three problems/issues/opportunities, and we will supply you with brief descriptions of how a team could support your needs.
Most of our projects occur with short lead times, so how could the TMP model help with those?
KGI has two other TMP models: the fast-track program, which runs from January-May, and the ad hoc program, which can begin at any time. Contact us for more details, including pricing, on these two options.
Most of us got our PhDs years ago – what advice do you have about working with graduate students?
Here are some ideas for engaging your team members early and solidly:
• At the outset, invite the students to visit your company and learn about your business
• Understand the different reasons each student is interested in your project.
• Be explicit about your expectations for matters small and large. For example, if your corporate culture is very punctual, explain that this will be important for the team’s credibility, and note that you always expect them to be on time.
• Encourage students to communicate both “bad news” as well as “good news”
• KGI students have tremendous intellectual curiosity, so don’t be shy about asking them to investigate an issue extensively.
How do we begin?
Send KGI a one paragraph description of your project, including a brief summary of the current situation, and what you hope the outcome would be. See “Starting a TMP in 3 Easy Steps”.
Is a Team Masters Project Right for Your Organization?
Use this handy checklist to determine how a Team Masters Project could benefit your firm.
|We have more projects than qualified staff to handle them|
|Our organization needs more business analysis, but we don’t have time to train business managers about science and technology|
|Sometimes we are too close to a problem to effectively identify solutions|
|To save time, we need to be able to work on multiple parts of an initiative simultaneously|
|It’s important to better understand our competitors, but we are unclear how to go about this|
If you answered “yes” to at least one of these questions, a TMP is right for your company.