Defy Convention To Deliver Outstanding Results
The value in managing life sciences projects in a new and different way
Life sciences’ leaders have a vision to change the course of the future, find better ways to manage health, improve patient outcomes, and treat disease.
Such big ambitions sit at the cutting edge of innovation and demand business transformation – building stability and agility through improved operations, productivity, and costs. From R&D to manufacturing, quality, and supply, it’s the shift between strategy to delivery of projects where we see huge challenges arise.
When you consider the moving parts – what’s going on in the world, the billions of dollars and years spent on drug discovery and deals, the stringent regulations, and the seamless integration between processes, platforms, and people that deliver the full value of change – it’s unsurprising that many projects miss the mark. But as a pioneering leader, you’re always looking for a different and better way.
Good intentions, bad outcomes
Our founders created Genioo to overcome setbacks in an industry where progress saves lives. Their own experience of working in life sciences from both the consultancy and client side – despite good intentions to get drugs and devices to market faster, cheaper, and better without compromise to quality, equity, and safety – repeatedly returned unsatisfactory results.
Regardless of function and type of project, the inherent trade-offs and pain points with traditional project approaches remain the same. Instead, anchor on a different way of thinking and doing to deliver the value of strategy realization progressive companies demand.
Let’s take a deeper look:
Figure 1. Six key elements of project management success - The Genioo Way
A vision to inspire and create impact
A vision doesn’t begin with cost reduction, process improvement, or digital transformation. It begins with an ambition to improve patient and employee experiences, serve your business, patients, and industry better, and improve quality of life.
But the cross-functional transformative projects that fuel this ambition, are often where you’ll unintentionally fall short. Shift the mindset away from delivering a project; another task you’ve added to the daily to dos. When you inspire your teams with the benefits of projects, working together to build a brighter future, they’ll more likely engage and be excited by the responsibility and role.
The fight against COVID: A heroic role for R&D, Quality, Manufacturing, and Supply
A leading pharma accelerated R&D and innovation to join the fight against COVID-19. But the monumental task of setting up and scaling production to meet global demand, meant building resilience, improving productivity, capacity planning, talent acquisition, and centralizing G&A. In isolation, projects spanned 200 deliverables across 8 workstreams.
Our cross-functional ‘One Team’ approach brought everyone together for daily huddles and problem-solving calls. Working collaboratively, we quickly delivered critical initiatives, expanding its presence to 30+ countries in 5 months and ultimately saving lives.
Predict and prepare to prioritize initiatives and minimize pain
The best leaders learn from experience, what went well, and what did not. A diagnostics program – interviewing stakeholders, functional leaders, and operational teams, and evaluating processes, documents, and data – hones-in on potential opportunities and pitfalls and shows your teams you value their views. Drawing on these insights to define your approach and resource builds confidence that you have prioritized the right initiatives and can overcome obstacles along the way.
A clear oversight of inventory management enables $50m+ in cost savings
When a leading global medical device company found itself facing rising costs of consignment inventory and product rollover write-offs from launches of new short shelf-life products, it knew it needed a better approach.
We partnered with the company to identify major cost drivers through key stakeholder interviews, data and scenario analytics, and an end-to-end inventory management process review. Recommendations included a 12/24-month product rollover management process, new consignment policies, and a dedicated consignment function. The potential 35-40% consignment inventory reduction and write-off avoidance totaled $50m+.
Engineering success from the start
Every project begins full steam ahead to drive change and deliver results. But to keep up the momentum, don’t rush execution, go slow first and plan for success.
Reverse engineering starts with your end destination. A realistic and achievable project (or phase) time horizon with key milestones enables you to maps backwards detailing the approach and resource. It identifies the benefits you aim to deliver, the strengths you have to accelerate your project, and pinpoints the obstacles that could cause disruption and delays. Get clarity in what you are trying to achieve and how. And engage your project team to embark on your journey with greater confidence in your success.
Align and engage your team
Projects should be an enjoyable experience, not seen as a burden or worry, but as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. But by nature, critical transformations come with many unknowns and teams need to be clear on expectations, what the project will deliver, and when.
Take a one team approach to co-shape the common objectives, co-create a detailed roadmap, and deepen understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. Together, teams can think through capacity and capability demands on the project management organization (PMO) and operational delivery teams.
Building transparency, cross-functional collaboration, and open-dialog from the outset embeds project understanding, belief, and ownership (UBO). And it empowers your team to deliver and execute with confidence, and more importantly, champion change.
From scaling supply chain at speed to stabilizing for continued success
A fast-growing pharma needed to stabilize its supply chain organization to support new business demands and operate effectively at scale. It turned to Genioo’s proven success planning program for fresh perspective to think its transformation through.
A week-long top team alignment workshop empowered Supply Chain to co-create a strategic three-year roadmap with 15 key process improvement initiatives prioritized in the first 12 months. Less than a year into the program, all priority processes are scalable, more than 70% have reached maturity, and nearly half have been digitalized so the business can start seeing returns.
The right resource at the right time
When considering how to resource your project, trusted teams bring internal ownership and knowledge of how things work. But for transformation projects, the needs are broader - strong project management, laser focus, and functional/cross-functional capability and expertise. External support accelerates delivery, but traditional consulting can be expensive, rigid, and staffed by junior teams. Instead, consider more cost-efficient agile resourcing to engage experienced project managers and seasoned independent consultants for scalable support.
Build a high-performing team to reduce dependency on outside help
Consulting firms quite often the work in silos away from your internal teams. And when the project is complete, they leave taking project know-how out the door.
To make project outcomes stick, put your people in the driving seat and encourage external professionals to integrate and become an extension of your team. There should be an openness and willingness to upskill and support each other, share knowledge, methodologies, and best practices, and have some fun.
Agile resourcing drives transformation and €100m+ cost savings in one year
A leading strategy firm set out a three-year multi-stream technical operations transformation for a global generics company. But with 150+ initiatives, 10+ workstreams, and varying urgencies, capacities, and capability gaps, the company needed our help to realize the $200m savings at stake.
Together, we aligned on a short to mid-term agile resourcing plan. And with new processes and technologies in place in year one, we kept projects moving while being efficient with time and costs. Our efforts then shifted to stabilize project execution, upskill internal teams, and phase out our support. First year savings topped €100m. And the €210m saved by year three, meant better than expected results.
Embed change to deliver ROI
Execution typically focuses on reimagine, roadmap, and run. Enablement through change management tends to be forgotten or simply bolted on. Measuring success doesn’t end with delivery, it continues long after project completion and validates the returns. Embedding new ways of working goes beyond information and toolkits. Leaders with deep convictions and frequent communications cut through resistance and achieve buy-in.
Embracing change in production delivers >$500m cost savings
A large pharma engaged a leading consultancy to restructure a production network of more than 50 sites and 20,000 employees. But the project ran into difficulties with process harmonization across different sites.
It approached Genioo to step in, prepare for day 1 readiness, syndicate 90-day plans, and implement quick wins. We worked closely to embed changes in external supply strategy, footprint strategy, and tech transfer plans with teams. The project delivered >$500m cost savings across areas including waste reduction and asset utilization.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal
As Winston Churchill concluded, “it’s the courage to continue that counts”. With any transformation and project, there are no hard and fast rules, no one way to work that works without fail. But our experienced teams, internally and externally, believe wholeheartedly in setting up for success. Detailed scoping, team alignment, diagnostics, resourcing, and realistic project and phase timelines are critical for PMOs and delivery teams. And sharing the vision and managing change help project outcomes stick.
The important thing is not to settle for anything less than complete success. And if you don’t quite achieve it, be prepared to try a new and different way.