In our previous discussions, we identified that alignment and commitment to the goal or project timeline — as well as bold, decisive, inspirational leadership — are required for bringing a new drug to market faster and more efficiently.
On a tactical level, there are many critical milestones — both large and small — to healthcare innovation. This means pharmaceutical companies must rely on strong, robust project management to achieve results.
Strength in Numbers
While it’s necessary that everyone commit to a breakthrough goal — the intended outcomes will not happen unless there is a plan. And that plan won’t happen unless people are accountable for its execution.
It goes hand-in-hand that the more project managers you have to direct deliverables, keep people on a timeline, and communicate what is happening to resolve issues and breakdowns, the greater a project will be managed with integrity.
Successful leaders realize that project management is a critical component to achieving their goals, however it is a concentration that is often underfunded or undeveloped on breakthrough pharmaceutical projects.
More and more, project management work and project managers are being outsourced and even eliminated. This is an inherent challenge to the drug development process, one that forces executives to add project management to the top of a host of other business-critical goals.
Effective project managers oversee a host of inter-dependencies quickly — from working with various timelines inherent to what is found in clinical data, manufacturing data (everything that goes into making sure the formula in the pill is safe and effective), and non-clinical data (proof that drug is safe and effective).
When this function is removed from the new drug application process or clinical submission, breakthrough pharmaceutical projects stand a much higher probability of being unsuccessful.
The necessities of making sure senior leaders understand the need for flawless project management is, sometimes, an ongoing challenge. It is also one that can easily be avoided by devoting the necessary resources from the start. Unfortunately, this need often goes unidentified or unrecognized until it is too late.
To address this, critical stakeholders must be fully engaged and enrolled, with their thinking organized around breakthrough thinking and results — which is the topic of our next discussion.