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Case Study

Reengineering of Work Processes Cuts Drug Development Timeline in Half

To be more competitive, a mid-sized pharmaceutical company needed to shorten its drug development timeline. To that end, it hired a globally recognized management consulting firm to help reengineer its work processes. After the client expended significant financial and human resources, the consulting firm produced a model that, although generally applicable to any pharmaceutical company, was not defined in enough detail to be readily implemented, nor did it include adequate consideration of the company’s culture and corporate structure.

Customize, Then Realize
The company employed Integrated Project Management Company, Inc. (IPM) to first customize the generic plan to fit the company’s unique needs, and then ensure the integration and implementation of new work processes.

IPM’s initial task was to work with the various teams responsible for creating each work process and ensure they applied a disciplined, consistent approach, thoroughly documented their process, developed a plan to roll out a new workflow, and created a governance structure to clearly delineate roles, responsibilities, and authority for final decision-making.

As teams completed their process designs, IPM initiated a parallel effort to capture interdependencies across all processes. Analyzing the process inputs and outputs revealed disconnects in the overall design related to deliverables, timing, or both. Through a unique method developed by IPM, each disconnect was identified and resolved until the entire network of activities was fully integrated and documented.

Saving Time, Money, and Effort
IPM successfully led the reengineering of 20 different work processes spanning multiple functional organizations and governance hierarchies. By mapping the integration of these processes, IPM was able to close gaps and rectify disconnects that had been causing missed commitments, timeline delays and mounting frustration. Moreover, critical pathways were defined, allowing management to apply the right resources to the right activities, minimizing delays and shortening the overall development timeline.

By the initiative’s conclusion, the company was able to:
• Cut development timeline by more than 50 percent
• Eliminate the need for costly contingency-development efforts
• Increase efficiency in transferring technology to manufacturing sites
• Increase its flexibility in responding to changes in commercial volume forecasts
• Improve resource utilization
• Significantly increase management confidence in plans and commitments
• Increase employee collaboration, accountability, ownership, and buy-in
• Enhance its ability to capture in-house knowledge and accumulate intellectual property

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