Rigorous Business Analysis Enables Young Biopharmaceutical to Implement New IT Systems

PROJECT BACKGROUND

A young company with roots in breakthrough biotechnology was struggling to implement its information technology (IT) systems. The company had procured three new enterprise-wide systems to improve its 1) project and portfolio management, 2) learning management (to track employee training and development), and 3) content management (to organize electronic and paper records and documents). The systems promised to automate a range of processes, which not only would improve efficiency, but also enable better portfolio decision-making and regulatory compliance.

The company, however, found itself in a quandary. It had purchased a sophisticated set of systems but was unable to implement them “as is.” Because the company had been growing by leaps and bounds, there was no standard set of procedures that reflected current business operations. Thus, the software was not tailored to the company’s specific needs.

Moreover, seasoned IT personnel were scarce and IT project management tools and processes were immature, resulting in delayed and unpredictable system implementations.

IPM’S SOLUTION

The company enlisted Integrated Project Management Company, Inc. (IPM) to get the new systems up and running, as well as to demonstrate sound project management methodologies. During this period, it was imperative that ongoing operations not be disrupted.

IPM’s first step was to thoroughly educate the business owners and intended system users on best practices for successful system implementations.

Next, IPM helped each business function define and standardize the processes for every task the software was to automate. Then, together, they mapped out the group’s workflows—how everyone’s individual processes meshed and where there were disconnects that needed repair.

Only after the upfront work of identifying the business needs was complete, did IPM facilitate discussions with the technical team and end users to determine how to proceed with implementation: Where did the systems need “tweaking” to meet company needs, and where could company processes be altered to fit the current software configuration? IPM used an objective, logical process to guide decision-making that elicited participation from everyone involved, so that the final product would truly serve the needs of the people using the new systems. In the end, everybody felt their concerns were important and that they were heard.

PROJECT RESULTS

  • With the assistance of IPM, three new enterprise-wide IT systems were customized to the needs of the company.
  • The new project and portfolio management system enabled the company to more strategically plan its drug development portfolio and resource utilization. The learning management and content management systems enhanced the company’s ability to comply with FDA requirements.
  • The company’s IT team vastly improved its project management skills, especially in analyzing and prioritizing user needs to define clear expectations for system capabilities upon roll-out.