On average it takes 10 years to bring a drug to market. In many cases a decade is long time, and in drug discovery every day is utilized. Commercializing a drug is expensive and labor intensive, but there are ways to expedite the process: partnering with a CRO with quality project management is one of them.
Acting as an extended laboratory, CROs (contract research organizations) play an integral role in pharmaceutical and biotech R&D strategies, helping to accelerate discovery and determine lead candidates in a more cost-effective manner. However, working with CROs can be difficult and at times frustrating as the researcher is at the whim of the CROs communication, execution, and delivery.
CROs that provide the best value are ones with effective project management that allow the client insight into the planning, process, and performance of the services. Effective project management starts from the beginning of engagement with the customer. As soon as a purchase order is received, a good practice in biotech service is a project kick-off call.
A project kick-off call is an introductory meeting setup by the CRO to align project objectives, materials, execution, timeline, and deliverables before work begins. This helps both the client and the CRO’s technical team identify last minute details to better setup what the client can expect to be delivered at the conclusion of their project.
A kick-off meeting helps set the tone for the project and builds trust between the CRO and the client, as a partner in the drug discovery process. With the kick off meeting complete, a Project Manager must leverage seven keys skills to be successful according to Brian Eastwood.
- Resource Allocation
- Priority Setting
- Ability to Pivot
Each of these elements that Brian notes plays a crucial role in CRO project management. The project kick-off and project status updates are great examples of a project manager showing leadership by taking ownership of client communication. Vision and collaboration are essential pieces of a project manager role. For example, working with a study director to constantly improve the client experience by leveraging the team’s skillsets will help the company and client.
Lastly, as service provider and as an extension of a company’s R&D efforts, documentation is a key skill to have. A leading CRO is one who can always provide protocols, methods, and paperwork regarding processes and execution. It is a basic element of organization and shows a detail orientated management style.
At Visikol, the aforementioned strategies are basics that we provide our clients throughout a project’s execution. We understand the implications of the research that we help conduct, and how it can affect a company’s bottom line. For each client that we work with we strive to provide a quality project service experience through effective project management. Reach out to us today if you would like to learn more about our project execution.