Research and development in industries such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotech / life sciences is characterized by big investments and strategic portfolio management. Many companies have highly dynamic and innovative product portfolios, making it important to prioritize and select the right projects.
Product Care underpins the ongoing further development of products such as drugs, active ingredients and technical equipment. The R&D projects in this industry usually have relatively long durations.
Due to high CAPEX expenses and complexity, research and development is often undertaken across distributed locations. People collaborate across departments and even companies – nationally and globally – and this is common for these industries. Almost all companies practice permanent budget planning and control in the form of fluctuating running forecasts.
Over more than 20 years, TPG The Project Group has gathered many references in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Based on our experience, we have put together the following list of things that should be included in an appropriate project and portfolio management (PPM) solution for product development in these industries.
Expand the following text modules to read about the proven components of solutions for research and development projects in the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries based on Microsoft technologies.
Microsoft Project Server – or its cloud-based version Project Online – is a powerful and user-friendly tool for enterprise project and portfolio management (PPM). Research directors, project managers and project staff all use a common work and information platform for their work in research and development.
The web-based solution is intuitive and easy to handle due to its similarity and tight integration with the Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office / Office 365 environment. The role-based concept ensures “seeing instead of searching”, in other words, project staff only see the information they require for their role.
Microsoft Project Server / Project Online offers centralized project management as well as strategic portfolio management. It helps managers determine, select, manage and deploy portfolios aligned with the business strategy.
This allows them to determine the optimal project portfolio based on strategic business drivers, planned project costs and available budget.
Microsoft Project Server is a powerful tool for centralized, enterprise-wide project management. Used in conjunction with an add-on tool designed especially for program management, it enables users to easily monitor the status of all sub-projects.
Managers can communicate top-down targets at the program level by simply mirroring milestones and other key information to the sub-project level.
Bottom-up planning is also available, as project participants can report current plan data from their sub-projects to program management for further control.
More information on program management with TPG ProjectLink.
Microsoft Project Server / Project Online is based on SharePoint Server / Online, which facilitates collaboration in teams. Project team sites, discussion forums and wikis are part of this solution that helps companies manage knowledge in research and development.
Microsoft Project Server / Project Online can be exhanced with “Soft Links” that show users important tasks in other projects.
If required, these links can also be implemented across several companies without having to show users complete external schedules (such as those of suppliers or customers).
Microsoft Teams also offers Unified Communication, which integrates well with the project management environment.
More information on TPG ProjectLink.
Project managers work best with a project management system optimized for their needs such as Microsoft Project Server / Project Online.
Controllers, however, are more at home with an ERP system such as SAP or Dynamics AX.
The integration of the two systems for bidirectional data exchange makes things much easier for everyone.
More information on SAP integration via TPG PSLink® middleware.
Microsoft Project Server / Project Online provides important reports on individual projects or project portfolios at your fingertips. A role-based concept and access rights ensure that project members and managers only see the reports that are intended for them.
Individually adapted to customer needs, the automated reporting system brings a wealth of benefits to the entire organization.
More information on TPG Business Intelligence Reports.
Learn more about Microsoft Power BI, the powerful online reporting service in Office 365.
Multi-projects and programs are managed on the basis of important milestones within the sub-projects that can be rolled up from all sub-projects into a central overview. Managers find it useful to see how the milestones have changed over time. However, Microsoft Project Server / Project Online only includes 10 baselines.
TPG helps by providing an integrated Milestone Trend Analysis (MTA) chart to support analysis and ensure timely detection of bottlenecks.
More information on TPG MTA Chart App.
“Efficient reporting is the biggest benefit of Project Server. We know that the project numbers – including financials from SAP – are timely, reliable, and consistent. With Project Server linked to SAP, we can gauge the financial success of projects, comparing actual with budgeted figures, and provide management with the ability to exert meaningful control.”
Jani Saarinen, Senior Manager in Research & Development, Kemira