Managing a large consortium through VREs

One of the major issue in managing an EU-funded project is to ensure a smooth communication among the partners and make sure that each partner has access to all the relevant resources and latest information.

The BlueBRIDGE best practice

The Virtual Research Environments developed by BlueBRIDGE are a powerful mean to manage collaboration between different partners. That’s why BlueBRIDGE decided to adopt a VRE as its project management tool. The BlueBRIDGE Project VRE was created by the coordinator and all the partners registered to it. Thanks to the integrated file repository all the partners had access to the project documents (deliverables, communication materials, etc.). The social framework part of the VRE (an area similar to the Facebook wall where the VRE members can post new messages and reply to existing ones) enabled communication among the members of the VRE (no mailing lists were set up) allowing to keep track of all the project discussion on the VRE wall. Finally, the VRE was equipped with a wiki to manage the production of all the project relevant content and with a real-time dashboard to track activities and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which allowed the project coordinator to have the status of the project under control in every moment. Beside the BlueBRIDGE project VRE other VREs were created for the management of the project like for example the PSC VRE to track the status of the activities of the Steering Committee or the VREs that supported the development of the tools of the different pillars. Clearly, all the project related VREs are private therefore not accessible to externals.

Why this is considered a best practice   

Best Practice analysis

Validation

The usage of the VRE as a project management tool revealed to be effective as no major issues were encountered in the management of the BlueBRIDGE project.

Innovation

The innovation relies in the new approach. Instead of spending time in setting up different, sometimes proprietary, project management tools, the VRE allows a project to have a unique cost-effective environment.

Success Factors

The users need to understand the VRE approach.

Sustainability

N.A.

Replicability and/or up-scaling

This approach can be applied to any collaborative project. Currently VREs are used as project management tools also for other EU projects of very different nature like PARTHENOS, AGINFRA+, E-RIHS, FosterPlus, GEMex, SoBigData, DeSCRAMBLE, and OpenAIRE-Connect.