CMK Select Supports Pharmaceutical Leader in Delivering Next-gen Data & Digital Strategy by Driving Successful Change Management
When the U.S. Oncology team of a global pharmaceutical company were ready to execute on the vision of industry-leading engagement, they looked to CMK to help them translate it with structured change management. Healthcare providers were receiving massive amounts of information and needing to see more patients in less time. Coupled with lingering protocols from the COVID pandemic, Field teams needed to adopt a new way of working that offered a more personalized customer engagement experience. The client turned to CMK to map out and launch the massive change effort that would connect the integration of the latest analytics and technology with meaningful communications and training, in coordination with the data and digital tools to fully realize the strategy.
CMK assigned a seasoned change manager to support program leaders with strategic guidance and support to guide key stakeholders through the change continuum. Several change management measures were mapped to the business goals that included: stakeholder analyses, impact and risk assessments, communications and training deliverables, and field engagement. CMK worked with the client’s key stakeholders to work through iterative plans that were configured for each activated brand’s needs. Change management enabled the program team to communicate effectively with the field and address risks and concerns with the digital workstreams. The Field adopted the new platforms and systems by partnering with the program team to troubleshoot issues, provide feedback and endorse changes.
By implementing effective change management tactics, the program team successfully launched next generation engagement on schedule and with full commitment from the Field Sales teams. U.S. Oncology field reps who were activated with the new tools experienced over 30% more prescription activity and an increase in customer engagement. The launch was so well-received that the client is expanding the program to additional brands and incorporating the change management and communications processes as a best practice.
CMK Select Works With Life Sciences Data Analytics Team to Explore Key Project Management Knowledge Areas
A Client’s Life Sciences data analytics team was seeking to gain foundational knowledge of project management. The team’s existing work environment centered around rapid response to their internal clients. The result was frequent scope creep, dissatisfied clients, and team burnout. This team was looking to move towards a more proactive approach, i.e., taking a more macro view, understanding the strategy for disease areas as it relates to the work, and moving towards a more matrixed environment.
CMK interviewed key members of the team to gain a deeper understanding of their current project management practices and knowledge gaps across the team. Feedback from these interviews provided the foundation for the training, which started with a segment of project management theory to establish baseline understanding, scenario-based discussions related to the kind of work the team undertook, and role-playing exercises to demonstrate some of the softer skills related to negotiation and stakeholder management
100% of the training participants had a favorable impression of the overall quality of the session, and 85% indicated that they would be able to perform their job more effectively as a result of the training.
A privately owned, rapidly growing pharmaceutical company was charged with rolling out 22 releases for a multi-product launch in one year’s time. In the early stages of the program, the client struggled with a series of issues that, if not corrected, would ripple through the subsequent launches. While each release had a project manager, they lacked a dedicated resource who could manage the program at a strategic level to ensure alignment with business use cases, communicate with IT and ensure the overall success of the interconnected projects. The client turned to CMK to correct the inefficiencies observed and offer a more methodical approach to the overall program.
The CMK team began by assigning a program manager to oversee the portfolio of projects and provide strategic direction in support of business goals. They built a formal Agile team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, established a new meeting cadence that made better use of the team’s time, streamlined communication with the project teams and stakeholders and created templates that support a more prescriptive approach. With trust established, the client later turned over the financial management and reporting responsibilities to CMK.
Since bringing CMK on board to manage the program, the client seamlessly launched three releases over the course of three months—on time and on budget. With repeatable processes and protocols now in place, they are currently on pace to complete the remaining 16 launches by year-end.
CMK Helps Global Pharmaceutical Leader Streamline Processes and Protocols to Meet Government Requirements and Deliver Ongoing Operational Efficiencies
The U.S. cardiovascular team of a global pharmaceutical company needed help responding to a new Corporate Integrity Agreement for two launch products. Resource-constrained at the time, they were looking for a streamlined and efficient way to satisfy the strict government-imposed deadlines without blowing their budget or delaying the products’ launch dates. The client turned to their trusted partners at CMK for strategic guidance and support in addressing this immediate need.
The CMK team began by exploring creative ways to use the client’s existing procedures and compliance and regulatory documentation to meet the new requirements while delivering long-term efficiencies. They made process improvement recommendations, built templates, created guidance documents and defined a more streamlined approach for meeting deliverables more efficiently. In collaboration with the client’s key stakeholders, the CMK team then developed planning documents and configured them to perform automated tracking and reporting around tactics, budgets, priority, business case, changes, timing, dependencies and more.
With newly streamlined procedures and enhanced documentation in place, the additional checkpoints were implemented on time and did not impact the client’s budget or launch timelines. The tracking and reporting functionality allows the project teams to have more meaningful, data-backed discussions with stakeholders, while the automation capabilities make it easy to uncover areas of opportunity and track progress for continuous improvement. Today, the client is equipped with repeatable processes that help them ensure ongoing compliance with all policies and procedures and transparency with internal and external constituents—and also serve as a best-practice that can be shared across other therapeutic areas.
Within hematology, Higher Risk-Myelodysplastic Syndrome (HR-MDS) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) are diseases with a highly unmet treatment need. In response, an NJ-based pharmaceutical leader created an innovative new immune-modulating treatment that shows tremendous promise in the fight against myeloid disease.
While the new regimen offered an effective immunotherapeutic approach that addresses the lack of durable response in myeloid disease, aided and unaided awareness of the treatment among practitioners was very low—around 10%. The pharma giant turned to CMK to create a program designed to drive awareness and generate excitement about the new drug in advance of its launch.
CMK implemented a multi-pronged Disease Awareness Campaign aimed at delivering key messages to practitioners through multiple channels. They created a highly engaging website to house all pertinent information about the disease itself, treatment limitations and the drug’s mechanism in the body, followed by a robust media campaign that included banner ads, emails, paid search, videos and social media marketing.
Within six months, awareness soared to 60%, with total hits to the site approaching 20K. Today, the client is on pace to reach its goal of 80 – 100% aided awareness by the end of the year for what is expected to become the cornerstone of treatment for MDS/AML.
CMK Helps Pharmaceutical Leader Streamline and Integrate Processes and Procedures for Study Teams Following Merger
When two large pharmaceutical companies merged, the study teams struggled with a lack of clarity over which operating models to follow for their respective studies. With heritage procedures and IT systems in place across both entities, and pros and cons to each depending on the lifecycle management processes at play, the client needed a way to define, streamline and integrate each disparate component for more efficient, audit-ready processes and protocols.
CMK worked with the client to coordinate, compile and evaluate every operating model currently in use. They identified best practices and devised a mixed-models approach that assigned a specific operating model to each of the multiple processes. Recognizing the need for a central repository to house all pertinent information, CMK also partnered with key stakeholders to collect procedural documents and resources for every process, with source links to each respective system.
With the operating models and related IT systems defined and a single policy portal system that offers one version of the truth, the study team is well equipped to execute trials efficiently and without confusion. And with inspection-ready standard operating procedures in place, the team can quickly and easily respond to compliance inquiries.
Project management challenges exist at all levels of the organization—from the highest strategic level down to the project task level. In today’s business environment, an organization’s ability to recognize and resolve those challenges is a crucial driver in enhancing business performance for greater stability and sustained growth.
Here are the top 5 project management challenges that organizations face today:
Challenge 1: Managing Conflicts
The Problem – A project, by definition, is a one-time activity that generally includes cross-functional or cross-divisional engagements. Conflict is a natural byproduct of any project, given the added stress associated with tight budgets, firm deadlines and conflicting interests of stakeholders. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; some degree of conflict can be energizing and inspire innovation. But there is a threshold that, when crossed, turns constructive conflict into destructive conflict.
The Solution – Consider hosting a series of collaborative workshop sessions to identify the root of the conflict, identify common views, brainstorm ideas and come to agreeable solutions that will move the project forward. Another approach would be to engage an objective third-party, such as a manager or a trusted expert in the field (e.g., an IT expert for tech-related issues), to present additional options.
Challenge 2: Sponsorship Involvement
The Problem – Sponsorship challenges can take on a range of forms—from too little involvement to too much. According to a PMI Pulse of the Profession Report, the top driver of a project’s success in meeting its goals and intent is an actively engaged executive sponsor.1 Project sponsors are there to remove obstacles and support an efficient project flow. An absentee sponsor is likely too distracted to remove those obstacles, while a micro-managing sponsor may end up creating more. Both ends of the spectrum affect project success.
The Solution – Form a steering committee at the onset of the project, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. With input from the steering committee members, create an organizational communication strategy that outlines how communications will be shared across the various levels and stakeholders. Assign a high-level strategic advisor to work with the steering committee to ensure ongoing alignment to the vision and communication strategies and measure ongoing success.
Challenge 3: The Project and Methodology Don’t Fit
The Problem – Different projects require different methodologies. All too often, the methodology being used doesn’t support the project requirements and goals. This might occur if there is no established methodology within the organization, requiring the project team to reinvent the wheel with each project. Or maybe your organization does have a robust methodology in place, but it is too rigid to handle the variety and scope of projects that arise. The wrong methodology can render the project inexecutable.
The Solution – The most effective way to address this common problem is to engage in training that covers project management methodologies (e.g., Agile or Waterfall). If your organization does not already have one, establish a methodology that can be applied to the various types of projects your organization encounters. Next, create an accompanying set of processes and tools, with guidance on how to implement them across a range of projects. Include a decision tree or matrix to ensure the right tools and processes are being used on the right types of projects.
Challenge 4: Priority and Portfolio Management
The Problem – Most organizations have dozens of initiatives that are considered essential to business success. But with limited human capital resources and budgetary constraints, they can’t all be addressed, leaving business leaders in a state of analysis paralysis in determining project priority. Priority challenges can also arise when a new, previously unplanned project emerges that warrants shifting resources that were already allocated to existing projects. Without a structural way of evaluating priority across a portfolio of projects, business leaders struggle to ensure they’re making the right decisions that will maximize their investment.
The Solution – Adopt a project portfolio management discipline that achieves the following objectives:
- Aligns projects with the overall business strategy
- Offers a sound governance process to analyze and approve projects
- Manages the supply vs. demand or capability vs. capacity of the organization
- Manages portfolio performance across the slate of projects
Challenge 5: Managing Complex Programs with Multiple Moving Parts
The Problem – Programs that include a slate of projects aimed at achieving the same organizational objective can prove extremely complex to manage. With so many separate but interdependent moving parts, all it takes is a breakdown in one area to negatively impact the whole program. Without a structured, methodical way to organize the endeavors across teams and departments, many organizations fall short of strategically executing the program.
The Solution – Adopt a program management approach that manages interdependencies across the projects at the program level. Here, you’ll be able to achieve economies of scale and scope, find synergies and facilitate efficient project workflows across the program. For example, you can manage resources at the program level, rather than at the project level, while ensuring each project is aligned with the strategy.
With a continued focus on project management excellence and a cohesive approach to resolving challenges as they arise, an organization will be poised for enterprise-wide success. For help resolving your most pressing project management challenges, call us today.
CMK Select is pleased to announced that it has been recognized by NJBIZ as a finalist for 2020 Business of the Year. Each year, NJBIZ recognizes the state’s most dynamic businesses and business leaders who share a commitment to professional excellence, business growth and the community. This year, CMK Select was one of seven finalists in the Business of the Year category for companies with 51-100 employees.
Only businesses that have made a significant impact on the New Jersey business community are considered for the award each year. In 2020, during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history, CMK seamlessly adopted a shift in mindset, as well as a series of new technologies and innovative communication strategies, to support its customers and address the challenges those customers faced in the new environment. Over the course of the pandemic, CMK has rebuilt its operations to enhance the value that it provides to its clients – and has done so with zero disruption to the business or its clients.
Joining CMK in its Business of the Year finalist category are Clarity Benefit Solutions, Docutrend Imaging Solutions, Fusion Health, Learning Ally, March Associates Construction Inc., and WeCool Toys Inc.
CMK Select is business with extensive expertise in medical affairs, commercial, business technology and compliance, and has been delivering superior program and project management to clients in the life sciences industry for nearly 15 years.
NJBIZ, New Jersey’s leading business journal, produces a weekly print edition with a circulation of more than 15,000 copies, as well as providing 24/7 business news coverage through its NJBIZ.com website and multiple daily e-newsletters. In addition to Business of Year (which is awarded to businesses in three categories: 1-50 employees, 51-100 employees, and 101+ employees), NJBIZ also annually recognizes Corporate Citizen of the Year, Emerging Business of the Year, and Executive of the Year.
According to the PMI’s 2020 Pulse of the Profession, the average project wastes nearly 11.4% of its funding. Organizations that undervalue project management as a strategic competency are the hardest hit, enduring a staggering 67% project failure rate.*
Project management readiness cannot be ignored. Yet many organizations don’t know where to begin. Typically, when an organization decides it is time to explore project management training, it is usually the result of one of the following scenarios:
- A new CEO or team leader joins the company, takes an objective look at the business, and identifies a problem that needs attention to support its strategic goals.
- An organization fails to execute a particular initiative successfully, prompting a reactive evaluation of areas of opportunity and changes that must be made.
- The HR team identifies project management as a new core competency, and they need a broad-scale training program in place to level skillsets.
Without a consistent project management approach in place, project teams face greater challenges, more conflict and lower employee satisfaction. Project outcomes are adversely impacted, as well, with reduced quality and wasted time and money.
How can project management training benefit your organization?
Project management training ensures that everyone on your team employs the same basic practices, method and approach. But the benefits don’t stop there; a robust project management training program also offers wide-reaching, organizational benefits.
- Arm your workforce with leadership skills: While members of a project team may share some basic project management skills they typically possess very different project management backgrounds and levels of understanding. By aligning your team’s understanding of essential project management skills, tools and techniques, you will enable your team to better plan projects, leverage opportunities, mitigate threats, manage change, influence others, partner with stakeholders and work with difficult people—all key leadership skills.
- Improve collaboration: One of the most common barriers to project management success is the lack of one common language, which causes confusion and project delays. With project management training, project teams benefit from a standard lexicon that facilitates more productive conversation, better collaboration and improved awareness across teams. Open channels of communication foster better cross-functional teamwork with quicker response and turnaround times—a practice that can be applied to the everyday workplace.
- Boost profitability: With an organized project management methodology, your project teams can plan more efficiently, spot potentially costly issues before they become a problem, prioritize goals and allocate resources more appropriately. Equipped with these foundational skills, your teams will be able to deliver higher quality results with fewer resources—on budget, on schedule and within scope—for markedly improved profitability.
Project Management training not only offers a systematic approach to managing and controlling different types of projects – it also equips employees with portable knowledge, skills, tools and techniques they can apply in the day-to-day work environment—ultimately enabling them to add greater value to the business. To learn more about our Project Management training services, contact us today.
In a recent article, Risk Management and Disaster Recovery in the Age of COVID-19, we discussed how we can gain valuable risk management insights by first looking at the likelihood and impact of a given risk and then drilling down another level and assessing the likelihood and impact of each risk’s specific consequences. In this article, we’re going to explore that concept further by putting these ideas into practice. Using a simple Risk and Consequences Excel spreadsheet (available for download at the end of this article), you will be able to identify and mitigate the hidden consequences that can severely and negatively impact your project.
For this example, let us imagine that we are planning out a product release and we are assessing what risks could impact our delivery date. We identify three high-level risks that could have an adverse impact on our release: pandemic, flood and fire. The table below shows our assessment of the likelihood of each risk, and it also lists out the possible consequences for each risk if they were to eventuate. Each of those consequences assumes its own unique row, which means the Pandemic risk has four associated rows – one for each consequence identified. Next, we look at the likelihood of each consequence occurring and the relative impact of that consequence, all assuming that the associated parent risk occurred. Finally, we calculate the relative severity of the consequence using the following formula:
Relative severity of a risk consequence = (likelihood of the associated risk) * (likelihood of this consequence) * (impact of this consequence)
The higher the severity level of a consequence, the more important it will be to identify mitigating activities to address it.
As the example above shows, water damage to the building has the highest severity because the risk of a flood is high, the likelihood of water damage to the building is high if the flood occurs, and the consequences of water damage to the building are also high. We can conclude that developing a mitigation plan for water damage to the building would be prudent. This is a good start – but there is yet another layer of risk hidden in this data that merits our attention.
Consequence Analysis: Targeting the data across risk categories
Note that in this example all three of our risks include the consequence, “Staff must work from home.” The second tab of the risk mitigation log, Consequence Analysis, is a pivot table that sums up and charts the Severity of Consequence column from the first tab for each of the likely consequences.
Why is this interesting, and why is it important?
On the prior tab, “water damage to building” had the highest severity of consequence score for a specific, individual risk.
However, this tab scores the severity for consequences across all three risk categories. Imagine the aggregate score this way: If a pandemic occurs OR a flood hits OR a fire damages the building, which of my consequences is most likely to occur, and with what severity?
When adding those scores across all risk categories in the other tab, “staff must work from home” (pandemic 28.0 + flood 48.0 + fire 48.0 = 116) is designated the most likely and has the most severe impacts. As such, this is a high priority consequence that merits mitigation. By identifying consequences that are shared across multiple risks, companies can take steps to mitigate those consequences so that when ANY of the associated risks become a reality, they know what steps to take for that consequence. Think about companies that had proactively established mitigation plans in the event their staff needed to work from home due to a flood or a fire (much more likely risks); they looked pretty smart when a once-in-a-century pandemic hit.
This risk mitigation log is offered as a high-level stepping stone to begin the discussions for developing a risk management strategy with your key stakeholders and the executive teams. More sophisticated tools can expand on this data and show the interrelationships between certain risks, consequences and their impact and help you develop appropriate mitigation strategies.
We invite you to download this spreadsheet and start identifying and prioritizing the “big hitter” consequences of specific risks that can have serious, detrimental effects on your organization should you wake up tomorrow face-to-face with another disaster.