Commercialization Commercialization is the process of bringing new products or services to customers. In Health & Life Sciences, R&D, or research and development, is a large part of the commercialization process. R&D costs required to successfully bring a new drug to market can easily reach billions of dollars. These costs result from multiple years of highly regulated processes involving dozens of different stakeholder groups, and often do not result in a successful Clinical Trial.  Pharmaceutical and medical device companies are then understandably under extreme pressure to ensure those products that do receive FDA approval are marketed and profitable as soon as possible. It is during these initial years of entry into the market without potential competition that a company can generate massive profits to be able to recoup the costs of other failed R&D efforts and be able to fund future R&D projects.  That is why a focus on Project & Program Management, as well as Change Management, during the Commercialization process is critical. To minimize costly delays and to better ensure all stakeholders are aware and aligned with objectives, specific activities should be considered throughout the process of delivering products to market.  Project & Program Management:    The sheer number of separate activities that have cross-functional dependencies and disparate completion timelines require an integrated schedule to be managed. Project and Program Managers should develop and manage this integrated schedule with inputs from the different stakeholder groups, highlighting the need for constant communication throughout.  This integrated schedule should be resource loaded to understand who from each stakeholder group is available to complete required tasks, for example: This resource loaded schedule will showcase the need for collaboration across these groups reducing the likelihood of information silos that cause issues with hitting deadlines and inconsistent knowledge across the program. Additionally, it will highlight gaps to the intended resource plan and provide the maximum amount of time to identify and obtain external contracted talent as necessary.   For Commercialization within pharmaceuticals, typical activities need to focus on a range of outcomes, including how patients will be prescribed the drug, whether additional services should be provided based on expected disease stages, competition research that will lead to price point decisions, and more. Stakeholders can provide updates on their individual required tasks to meet the defined deliverables and outcomes.  Risk management will also play an important role in any holistic Project & Program Management undertaking for improved Commercialization. An evaluation of what potential issues could delay schedules or cause additional budget expenditures should be evaluated as early in the effort as possible and then reviewed weekly. Some examples of categories to be evaluated for potential risks that will need to be mitigated are below.  Identifying with stakeholders what specific risks could affect each activity, what the financial and timeline impacts would be, and what actions the team will take once the risk triggers. By taking the time beforehand to discuss the plan of attack, more options are available to reduce those impacts. Companies can create a standardized, repeatable process flow that contains all necessary forms, documentation, and guidance within each process step. This standardization of a commercialization process will reduce delays based on utilizing out of date forms, as well as ensure that decisions are made at the lowest level authorized (RACI).   Motive Power has assisted companies to visualize and operationalize standardized processes through their Process Optimization Platform (PoP) capability. Change Management:  Commercialization of a product introduces change within both the internal team and external stakeholder groups to include patients, payers, supply chain companies, etc. This change will affect individuals & organizations differently and each individual will transition from the current state to the desired future state at different times, if ever.     Focusing time and resources to ensure this transition from current to future states occur as quickly as possible will reduce the risk that speed to market profitability isn’t delayed. Even the best project management plan could be implemented but will have no effect if the individual stakeholders expected to change behaviors to make the commercialization effort successful, don’t change.  Furthermore, efforts to analyze the impact of the new product on each stakeholder organization will help to assess the level of change management required. If the new product radically shifts how a physician needs to prescribe a product, then additional training, targeted messaging, and follow-up should be planned and implemented. Change adoption metrics should be developed and implemented to gain insights as early as possible when individual stakeholders are resistant to the requested change. Effective change management is paramount to any project’s success. For more information on how Motive Power can assist your Commercialization effort, please contact us at Author: Nick Bruno

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remote communication tips

Virtual Project Management Tips to Get Your Company through COVID-19

Author: Luke Bradshaw As individuals and organizations alike feel the impacts while dealing with a Covid-19 reality, managing projects and teams of people have presented new challenges. Whether it’s a major tech company in Silicon Valley or a local church, new ways of communicating and organizing people and projects are needed. Implementing virtual project management strategies effectively can make it possible for companies to conduct work across the globe, while enabling employees in different locations and cultural backgrounds to all work seamlessly on the same projects. Considering the benefits an organization can get managing virtual project teams, here are some virtual project management tips to help you handle the new COVID-19 reality: Schedule regular meetings Scheduling briefings or huddle groups at the same time on the same weekday contributes to creating a healthy routine. Routines provide team members with something they are used to and familiar with, which in return puts the team at ease and reduces stress. Additionally, look towards choosing video calls over phone and email. With virtual teams, regular video calls are a great way to avoid misunderstandings and connect team members on a more personal level. Establish communication tools The importance of establishing multiple communication tools is vital. First of all, your team has a way to communicate something that is urgent to the right person immediately. Secondly, it unifies processes such as what to use for conference calls, screen recordings, and so on. It is clear what tools is used for what, which contributes to creating that internal feeling of togetherness. The nature of virtual teams makes them a bit trickier to manage over a long period of time than a collocated team. Communication difficulties or scheduling conflicts can cause important information to get lost in the shuffle and forgotten. Furthermore, it may be difficult to know who is working on various tasks at any given time or when different team members are available. Too much ambiguity in a virtual team usually results in a diffusion of responsibility when it comes to getting things done. Therefore, it’s critical to have a well-defined system in place for tracking progress, workflow, and expectations, which will enable team members to be as efficient and effective as possible.  Use project management tools Traditionally, project management has involved translating brain power onto pen and paper and loads of spreadsheets, emails and various messaging platforms. While these methods still work for some, tracking projects through these means when working with virtual teams can be messy because there’s so much backtracking to do and important information can get lost. Interactive, web-based project management tools help keep track of those tasks and projects in one place, allowing organizations to plan entire projects from beginning to end, manage project schedules, and collaborate in virtual team settings. Online project management software has become fundamental for businesses to optimize their processes and be more efficient and effective in carrying out their tasks. Build trust and relationships Even if a virtual team has the best processes and tools in place, it will still fail to deliver positive results if team members don’t trust one another. A lack of trust can manifest in a variety of ways. In most cases, the root problem is a lack of strong, genuine relationships within the team. When employees lose trust in each other or a virtual leader, team members can become disengaged and self-oriented, which makes any form of collaborative work difficult. Investing in creative ways to promote team-building exercises and help build trust for virtual teams will create better outcomes and more team confidence.  

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Going Green at Work

New Trends in Change Management

Author: Israel Gonzalez It’s a brave new world in 2020 and as we are returning to business and our previous workflows, we find the road before us ripe for opportunity. Industry leaders are ready to create evolution like a racehorse being let out of the gate. The winds of change are moving, and they are they are swirling around change management itself, humans, and machines. Continuous Improvement Who knew change management would find itself going through change? Initially, change was project based with a beginning and end, simpler, and flowed more in a waterfall methodology. It’s now evolving into a continuous changing model; more agile. Initiatives are becoming broader within this new cadence and then working in specificity in following initiatives to build off one another. This progression is predicted to combat change management’s nemesis; change fatigue. Change is always difficult and faced with opposition, but the project model produced disjointed change. The continuous model relates the changes together changing how they are perceived from disruptive to gradual. Many changes are implemented with the best of intentions to fix a problem, but at the expense of creating another. Now this graduality can push into a culture of its own. Change begins to be understood as a given part of the day-to-day and as continuous improvement of the whole. Upgrading Your Foundational Players It’s no surprise that a company’s employees are the bedrock of all its achievements, but that makes them the key players in analyzing future potential. Implementing a change doesn’t occur after one meeting, but over multiple touchpoints or phases. Companies are finding themselves growing the change leaders’ team within their companies to offer better support in helping usher in new change. This increase isn’t just providing better implementation but more change more quickly. They are the ones working less systematically and driving to the beat of the agile drum. To strengthen the odds and overcome typical roadblocks companies are building a culture with a higher affinity to learn to create an environment where change can take root quickly. Encouraged learning is finding itself to be at the forefront and company leaders are building a learning culture by providing opportunities for their employees to flex their brain muscles. They are bolstering the minds of the “masses” because they know that the speed of adoption doesn’t rest solely on the size of the change management team, but on the receptiveness of the employees. Learning items planned and set before you is the beginning, but being able to thrive in uncertainty takes adaptability. It’s becoming unreasonable to know every system in your industry or to be educated in all new trending ideas, so we must drive to embrace these uncertain times. An important note is that communication is vital within this uncertainty because it offers a lifeline to build confidence to march forward. Technology Digital Technology is permeating through all industries and change management is no exception. Understanding large amounts of dialogue from feedback throughout the process is proving difficult with the increased cadence. Systems like Google Duplex are showing the advancement of A.I. to understand and respond to human dialogue. Another leap forward is Housespace which is not only showing how easy and quick it can be to categorize this data but providing summaries of mass feedback. This has never been more crucial than now because as closeout reporting is declining, actionable data is emerging as its successor. This finalizing report is proving less necessary because succeeding change may not only attend to the next evolution, but fix a small pitfall form the previous one. This is where actionable data from these systems will prove useful by helping you spring forward from your last step. We need to reset out expectations around implementing change within a company. Change is coming and it will always be coming as we continuously change moving forward. Bolster your own change team and make them key players in your organization. Create a learning culture with workshops and team building to grow your employees. Lastly, rethink how you report out. Whether you use a new software to help you or not, learning to create actionable data over success reports will make all the difference. Find your pace. It is not a sprint anymore but a marathon.

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Working Remotely in a COVID World

Author: Jon Bruning As of June 10, the Bay Area is on day 86 of shelter in place. Those of us lucky enough to continue working have largely found ourselves working remotely. For many, this means endless video calls on Zoom, Teams, WebEx, or Hangouts, and cramped workspaces that are far from ergonomically friendly. I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who finds myself constantly standing in front of an open refrigerator, unsure of how I got there. I am both a project manager, managing internal projects at my company Motive Power, and a consultant, working with Motive Power’s clients on various projects across industries. I was worried that my job would be difficult to perform while working remotely. I’ve done aspects of my job remotely for the better part of 15 years, but rarely 100% and never 100% on longer engagements. I wondered: How could I connect with my team the same way as I did in-person? How could I get the updates I needed? How could I keep my team motivated and marching toward our deadlines?   During shelter in place I did a few things differently than I normally would have. I want to share some changes in communication cadence, style, and methods I’ve found helpful while working remotely. Working Remotely – Shelter In Place Tips & Tricks When I’m on site with my teams, I get a lot of my updates informally. Bumping into each other by the break room or a quick drive-by at someone’s cube or desk. These types of quick check-ins allow you to get necessary information quickly without a formal meeting eating into people’s already busy calendars. Since shelter in place, I’ve replaced these face-to-face check-ins with text and IM interactions – quick virtual check ins to get a piece of information or two, still, without a formal meeting. It helps keep deadlines and actions in people’s minds without taking much time away. Pro tip: Keep these succinct or else you end up with a meeting length interaction that you intended to avoid. In addition, a reset on expectations of response times will help manage stress levels on your team and help with morale and positive momentum. Let’s face it — many of us are working remotely in a home with babies, rowdy teenagers, and possibly dealing with family and friends whose health was impacted by the pandemic. Finally, while it is considered a huge faux pas in 2020 to use our phone to call people, picking up the phone for a 2 minute chat is often the quickest way to check in. You can also gauge a person’s mood and temperament through their tone much better and adjust your communication style and expectations in response. I, possibly uniquely, find it nice to chat with my teams while I’m stuck inside my home all day! Being both a project manager and a consultant, I constantly switch between the tools Motive Power uses and the tools my clients use. What I’ve found using numerous collaboration platforms is that they all generally function the same: You can share your screen, video chat, mute people with noisy backgrounds, whiteboard, etc. If there is a functionality you’ve used on one platform, chances are a quick Google search will point you in the direction of how to do the same on another.   That said, the platform we choose isn’t what is important in so much as that we actually use them and maximize the functionality they provide. Video chats vs audio only meetings recreate the sense of connection we had in face-to-face meetings, and I find engagement to be notably higher with video enabled. Virtual whiteboarding provides a tactile feel without being together in person. I’ve seen whiteboarding done with plugins on communications platforms, and I’ve even seen colleagues use a real whiteboard in the background of their video. Both worked great and increased team engagement! All in, we’re still assigning actions, mitigating risk, motivating teams, driving schedules, and managing communications while working remotely in this shelter in place world. Making a few simple modifications to your communications can go a long way to keeping your programs on track and your teams motivated ensuring successful programs!

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five tips for scrum project management

How to Get the Most out of Your Scrum Board?

What exactly is Scrum? Scrum project management provides autonomy to every member. The teams are self-directed, so they’re able to quickly deal with the unpredictable changes inherent in any project. The scrum team is made up of a product owner, development team and scrum master. The product owner manages the product backlog, and the scrum master is the expert who acts as a guide for the team. This flexible, self-directed team works in what’s known as sprints. As Project Manager writes: 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Scrum Board The scrum board is a tool, but if you don’t know how to use it then it’s not going to be effective. When working in a scrum framework there are a number of things you can do to get the most out of it. Here are some tips. 1. Hold Effective Scrum Ceremonies No surprise here. Clear communication is the stepping stone to almost any successful venture. In scrum, the basic platform for communication is the daily scrum. That is, a meeting in which these three questions are answered: What did we do yesterday? What are we planning to do today? Is there anything holding us back? Scrum ceremonies are short and focused. They should have a clear scope and tight deadlines to make sure that progress is reflected on the scrum board. 2. Create Detailed Tasks Tasks are small jobs, which usually require only a single team member to complete. The work probably takes one day or less to complete. The task is breaking the user story down and should be clearly defined. The team should discuss the task and its parameters with the product owner, so they know the expected results. This is done during the sprint planning meeting. You want to give the team enough detail to get the task done and implement that part of the user story, without getting them bogged down in any unnecessary processes. That means having clear definitions of “ready” and “done”. 3. Properly Assign Resources This is where the scrum master shows their importance. They are the facilitator of all things scrum, being experts in the framework. They help the team optimize their transparency and delivery flow, but also schedule the resources, whether people or logistical. When the scrum master is assigning these resources properly, the sprint will proceed more efficiently and effectively. 4. Keep Everything Visible The scrum board is a tool that also has the goal of providing transparency into the process. The board gives everyone on the scrum team visibility into who is working on what, if there are any bottlenecks, how long a team member is working on something, if any part of the workflow is blocking the process, etc. This includes the key stakeholders, who have a vested interest in the progress of the project. Be sure to include everything that’s relevant to the sprint on the board, so it can be a single, trusted source of information. 5. Limit Items in Each Column That being said, you don’t want to overload the board with tasks. It defeats the purpose of keeping the team focused on what is ready to be worked on. A good criteria is to only add to the column where there is capacity to complete. On the flipside, you want to make sure the team has enough to work on. The trick is finding the balance between feast and famine. If you’re experiencing bottlenecks, you don’t have a balanced workflow and might want to stop work until it’s cleared up.

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Motive Power to Attend MAGI Clinical Research Conference

Motive Power is sending a number of employees to MAGI’s Clinical Research Conference – 2019 West this year. The conference runs October 27th- 30th with over 100 sessions and 240+ speakers. Over 700 people (including representatives from over 100 sponsors and CROs) will attend this event. With over 100+ sessions and workshops in six tracks: clinical operations & project management, site management, regulatory compliance, contracts, budgets & billing, and special topics, there is something here for everyone. We are excited to attend sessions relative to our services and network with others passionate about Clinical Trials and Continuous Improvement. If you happen to see the faces below be sure to say hi! We can’t wait for knowledge sharing and to meet others in the industry. Learn more about the conference here: Continue reading…

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