Prepare for success! How to lead a review team and complete your review (or update) on time.
Nicholas Henschke, Cochrane Response
Hanna Bergman, Cochrane Response
Meghan Sebastianski, Cochrane Response
Elise Cogo, Cochrane Response
An essential feature of performing Cochrane reviews is working well in a collaborative and interdisciplinary author team. Beyond the methodological aspects, logistical and management issues in the systematic review process can be rather challenging. Identifying and managing the different tasks required to complete a systematic review often falls on the lead author. Careful planning and effective communication within the team can reduce delays and ensure timely completion of tasks.
Objectives: To discuss logistical and management challenges while planning and undertaking a systematic review; to identify possible solutions to managing a systematic review team and ensuring tasks are completed timely; and to weigh the pros and cons of these solutions and learn from the experiences of other teams.
Description: This workshop will appeal to anyone interested in conducting a systematic review for the first time, those leading a review team, or those interested in learning about practical issues concerning team management. We will give a short presentation at the beginning of the workshop (15 minutes) to outline the scope of the session, introduce key issues concerning the effective management of a systematic review as well as common reasons for delay, and explain group activities. Attendees will participate in small groups to discuss challenges relating to logistical and management issues and complete a number of small tasks. These tasks involve brainstorming key issues around managing a review team (e.g., communication, responsibilities, setting targets, and keeping on track) and identifying the tasks involved in a review (from protocol to publication), methods for screening/data extraction (e.g., templates), and document/file management. We will try to ensure each group is formed by people with different backgrounds and expertise to bring a variety of views to the discussion (40 minutes). The groups will be asked to report the most critical aspects identified (5 minutes per group). We will stimulate debate on practical issues and provide tips that can assist review teams in undertaking project management from our own experience. Time will be allowed for discussion of the main areas of concern, and a short report on the workshop will be provided to all participants the week after the Colloquium.