Delivery improvement at a medical device manufacturer

In my blogs I have been discussing delivery performance and the journey to strong, reliable and consistent performance. To do this I have used real examples of our track record to illustrate that what we blog about is not just theory but a proven record of results for our clients.

We see this journey as a progression illustrated by the diagram below.

The journey is reliant upon the maturity in the seven project management practices discussed in Key stages in the project portfolio delivery performance improvement journey.

This medical device company had grown rapidly from strong academic origins to create a highly motivated group of 240 young and talented researchers, yet with little experience of commercializing new technologies and negligible revenues. 

Initially concerned with development of one of its advanced products, they set out to transform delivery and commercialization of all products.

What we found

  • Key decision-making processes had collapsed within the business unit responsible for the basic drug delivery platform
  • Contributing factors included a lack of organization structure, misaligned leadership of the scientific, project management and business development functions and weak communication
  • In addition to this, data fundamental to the progress of pharmaceutical product development, such as agreed specifications and test methods, did not exist.

What we did

  • Interim managers inserted to reinforce the affected business unit
  • Team building was introduced to encourage communication at all levels and between different groups within the company
  • Governance processes put in place for decision-making on complex problems
  • Terminated up to 100 smaller projects which were distracting the business and draining resources and
  • Organizational changes (training schedules, appraisals and setting of personal objectives were introduced to motivate teams, improve performance and change behaviors)
  • Key capabilities including QA
  • Technology road-mapping leading to a full strategic review
  • Focus on next generation products

What was achieved?

  • Increased revenues tenfold
  • Brought escalating staffing expenditures under control
  • Turned around the most important core projects
  • Created new Intellectual Property Rights
  • Reduced product development timescales

Overall delivery performance improved substantially and continues to improve after gaining control of the portfolio.

John Hall – PA Consulting Group

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