Our client is a diversified global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. The company is anchored by strong and sustainable brand franchises, with innovative, generic, hospital, and over-the-counter medicines. The client has made some ambitious, targeted acquisitions but had not fully integrated the acquired companies.
Challenge & Opportunity
The client had made an acquisition of a small startup that had developed a new material that was about to secure FDA approval for surgical applications. The start up’s entrepreneurial, off-the-cuff culture did not mesh with the parent company’s business-minded culture. The acquisition remained independent for 18 months with parent company funding, but the parent company was getting impatient – although the new material was approved by the FDA, the acquired company seemed unable to deliver marketable products. The parent stepped in with a strategy to develop a PMO within the startup company that would oversee the development of products that could be quickly assimilated into the parent company’s sales and marketing channels.
Hiring a PMO leader with no previous affiliation with either the parent or the startup, TagyanPoint was brought in to operationalize the PMO and facilitate efforts by multiple project teams assigned to the overall effort. The project was funded by the parent as part of its annual R&D portfolio management budget.
The PMO included expert resources in all of the major disciplines — regulatory, compliance, R&D engineering, marketing, and manufacturing — needed to make the transition from material to product. Because of the startup’s past inability to meet milestones, the parent’s expectations for transparency were paramount, they were looking for early indicators of success and a cross-portfolio approach.
Approach & Solution
The work of the PMO combined both strategic and tactical assignments, the two-person TayganPoint team was active at both levels. As the PMO was established, short term and longer term goals were set around the product development process including scope, deadlines and budgets. The near term goals were focused on productizing the new material in such a way that it could complement other products in the parent’s portfolio and thus be streamlined from a sales and marketing perspective. Longer term, the expectation was for a broader Product Development Process that took a cross-portfolio approach to support and diversify the client’s overall R&D pipeline and to achieve greater synergies. Responsibility for PMO budget management fell to the PMO lead who interfaced with Finance.
As the work was organized, we directly counseled the PMO lead, provided the governance framework, developed a reporting system, and supported the cross functional project teams. We focused on achieving the product launch targets while also ensuring that both the strategic and tactical objectives were met.
Within weeks, the teams identified the best path forward for their new product lines and launch plans were developed. The engineering efforts were then focused on this set of complementary products that would both expand and distinguish the parent’s company product offerings in the market.
- Established cross functional project teams to break down departmental tunnels.
- Developed a regular cadence of reports for both the overall PMO team and the sponsors, so leadership had clear visibility into the status of each products development.
- Established and executive all aspects of the PMO governance that included developing and integrating report templates, charters, risk management and tracking, and timelines.
- Monitored individual team expenses and then reported up to the PMO lead for tracking with finance. As a result, budgets were achieved (+ or – 5%).
- Created a forum for all project team issue and risk identification and resolution. Ensured appropriate controls were in place to manage the overall program so that any project and product risk was mitigated by working with RD leads to ensure that risk informed development.
- Continually identified further PMO and process improvements while mentoring the PMO lead on implementation.
- Provided regular coaching and support to each of the project teams or work stream leaders to facilitate progress.
Results & Impact
The startup company’s R&D Product PMO established some best practices that were influential across the company. The cross functional teams were both productive and accountable while delivering on schedule. PMO leader was prepared to work independently; readied to manage future multiple project program. Regular updates based on data-driven analytics gave the sponsor growing confidence that successful products were soon to be on the market.
The PMO’s key milestones were met, four new products were launched in less than three years, on time and under budget, the process foundation was laid to expand into a broader, more robust portfolio of product development, and several barriers to integration were dissolved.