The industry sector we are part of – ‘life science’ we would identify as: Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology companies, medical Diagnostics companies or specialist Device makers. Also, organisations who supply key services such as Clinical Research or Contract Development and Manufacturing.
Organisations in our sector have several things in common. We work in a world where the insatiable, global demand for better healthcare generates opportunities for innovative products and services; people working within companies often find a friendly, encouraging climate; expert scientific and technical work is encouraged. Profitability in the sector, in comparison to others, can be high. And yet, our effectiveness of collaboration, in projects, partnerships, the adoption of relevant new technologies and modern ways of working, is frequently mediocre, and at worst, poor.
Many organisations are well aware of this. Since the late 1980’s, when project-based collaboration models began to be adopted by the Pharma industry, there has been much positive change. Especially in the efficiency of manufacturing and supply to markets. But, notably in R&D, now populated by a myriad of new entrant, small and medium-sized companies, levels of organisation maturity have still not hit (anywhere near) the benchmarks in other sectors.
It’s well known that many improvement initiatives in past decades have not generated the positive change they were supposed to. This is principally because organisations have tried to address weakness in capability by tackling isolated parts of the mix without considering all the influencing factors at play. The High Performance Organisation model helps to guide you through this maze.
Projects in our sector are addressed in a variety of ways. In a small, typically Biotech company, there may be too few people to require any formal structures. But as it grows, the leading experts in the company begin to recruit junior scientists to take on the increased workload. Bit by bit, a set of ‘departments’ begin emerge. At a certain point, it dawns that this structure doesn’t best serve project effectiveness – and ‘cross-function’ teams are needed, and some senior scientists have ‘project manager’ added to their roles.
There are a lot more examples that you might identify from looking at this model, and that it might be helpful for you to read about in further detail. Check out our related articles: about our key tool for analysing your need (or not) for advanced project capabilities – The Blue Line. But also, articles about Project Management, Decision making, Project Leadership, Partnerships, and more – in relation to the High Performance model.
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