Global Pharmaceutical Company

R&D planning system optimization leads to a 54% increase in user efficiency

R&D planning system optimization leads to a 54% increase in user efficiency

Our Impact  

Clunky and ineffective digital tools can be as toxic to a business’s financial health as poor management or declining sales. The difference is that inefficient solutions are often harder to spot as the effects are scattered over a wider area. Our life sciences client understood this and sought the opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce costs by revamping their project portfolio management (PPM) software.  
Our client hired us to implement an enterprise-wide, intuitive global PPM platform to support their 2025 vision—better positioning the company for a growing portfolio of global products. We helped them understand the current state of their PPM process, identify Planisware (the client’s PPM platform) functionality that could improve the user experience, and create a fully prioritized roadmap.


increase in user efficiency


anticipated annual cost savings due to operational efficiency improvements

220 PPM

users planned for Year 1, up from 50

The Full Story 

The Challenge  

Our client’s need to optimize their digital experience came from internal and external forces. Government and market pressures highlighted the need for a new digital ecosystem that would differentiate their brand and streamline drug development. With healthcare industry experience spanning payers, providers, and life sciences organizations, new technologies have accelerated the evolution of personalized patient care across the ecosystem. To capitalize on investments and generate improved patient outcomes, life science companies need the right tools to manage complex interdependent initiatives. Our client aimed to ensure future competitiveness and create a cohesive digital ecosystem. 

Internally, our client’s implementation of their PPM solution was giving them problems with data visualization, management, reporting, and usability. We helped them understand the full scope of their challenges and efficiency opportunities by working through 13 vision workshops in which we identified 142 pain points. After just 16 weeks of definition, design, and implementation work, we were executing a plan to help them align their digital capabilities with overarching business goals. 

An Undeniably Different Approach  

The client’s challenges required deep expertise across multiple disciplines and industries. They chose us because of our ability to provide multidisciplinary expertise, specifically in the life sciences, PPM technology, operational excellence, and change adoption fields.   

  • Life sciences: Our life sciences team brought a deep and broad understanding of the pharmaceutical value chain, including patient services, technology trends, and best practices.  
  • Operational excellence: Our operational excellence team partnered with clients to identify and extract the unrealized potential of their organization, operations, process, workforce, and physical assets. 
  • PPM technology: Due to our relationship with Planisware and experience with the product, we acted as a liaison between them and our client to build a solution that meets the organization’s needs and removes pain points. 

Although our experts applied their industry-specific knowledge to speed up understanding and implementation, the most exciting work came from cross-collaboration. For example, combining our life sciences and operational excellence teams enabled a comprehensive digital transformation solution that facilitated portfolio optimization across all workstreams and an approach that will differentiate the business while driving greater value. 

Our collaboration helped the client achieve its goal of creating an intuitive global PPM platform. Their new platform is helping improve efficiency, user satisfaction, and decision-making thanks to increased clarity around roles and functions and enhanced reporting capabilities. And while the qualitative data is compelling, the numbers paint an even more exciting picture.  

Real Results  

Our client now has a system that’s optimized for the future. Through 15 immersion workshops, we enhanced 19 existing systems and identified nine new capabilities that align with their business goals. Additionally, we mapped out the future state of 12 processes, five of which were completely new. 

Operational efficiency was the star in translating the successes into business value. Because of the system optimization work, our client expects to save $835,000 annually. Add to that a boost in user efficiency of 54% and those returns will have ripple effects across the organization. Another highlight is the organizations expecting 220 PPM users in the first year, a significant increase from just 50 users. It’s clear that our client not only revamped their PPM system but also established the building blocks for continued improvement to both efficiency and user experience. 

Project Timeline

Conducted vision workshops and interviews to identify optimization needs, validate PPM capabilities, and define future state vision
Built process maps illustrating future state enhancements by workstream, prioritized opportunities, and developed PPM solution
Developed the roadmap while integrating factors like data migration approach, change management, and data governance
Executing the activities highlighted in the implementation roadmap in order to close the pain points associated with each workstream

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