Five Things to Consider for Effective PM Tracking Systems

Written by Jeffrey Benjamin, Director of Program Management,
and Michael Campbell, Technology Solutions Consultant

Are you tired of…?

…fire drills?
…not having the right information you need at your fingertips?
…missed deadlines?

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Here are 5 key questions to consider:

1. Does my organization need program management? If so, why?

An effective program management system with well-designed project trackers, dashboards and project management support can accelerate your launch strategy by:

  • Saving you time by automating tasks

  • Increasing transparency

  • Ensuring key objectives don’t fall through the cracks
  • Presenting information clearly

  • Aligning roles and responsibilities

  • Allowing you and your team to set realistic expectations for launch
  • Enabling quick review of project status and identification of any potential risks
  • Communicating program progression with various key stakeholders

Zipher’s program management tools and best practices have helped many Medical Affairs organizations over a wide variety of projects effectively prioritize resources, mitigate risk, efficiently communicate updates to stakeholders, and meet deliverable deadlines.

Our Project Managers understand Medical Affairs and have worked within all medical functions
to bring the utmost value to your organization by improving focus, driving critical projects and
programs to ensure you get the right drug to the right patient at the right time.

2. Who is the right audience for a PM system?

The next important item to consider is the intended audience.

  • Who will be tracking output?

  • What is the process for sharing the output?

  • What is senior leadership asking for?

  • Is the output “presentation-ready?”

Zipher strategically collaborates with our clients to answer these questions. Through a design review process, we help you ensure that every audience member can quickly access the answers that are most important to them. Specific team members may only need to have visibility into their own individual projects, whereas the leadership team may require visibility into the entire program to understand project status, and how the data relates to organizational strategy.

3. What are the key metrics my organization needs to track and report?

Prior to implementing a program management system, it’s important to think through and identify the metrics necessary to track and report. Strategy drives most organizations. We work with each client to understand their strategy, break it down into tactics, and identify the projects required to execute the strategy. Each tactic is represented in a way that pushes the overall strategy with clearly defined deliverables and milestones which are easy to see, interpret, and understand on the system’s dashboard.

Consider these important questions to get started:

  • Are we tracking tactics against the organization’s strategic initiatives?
  • Is the budget linked to the strategic initiatives and tracked against progress?
  • Are the dependencies across the program easily identified?
  • Are we tracking challenges or risks so the responsible team(s) can quickly identify mitigation tasks?

4. How can a tracking system be leveraged for other projects?

Once you have a customized tracking system in place, Zipher will work with you to easily standardize your tracking system and:

  • Re-purpose the system for similar and future projects

  • Utilize the system to increase your efficiency

We work with our clients to identify processes that can be recycled when setting up a standard version of the tracker to serve as a template. We then edit the individual trackers to include specific fields or metrics required for that project and adjust reporting and dashboards accordingly. Longevity is key if you want a system to last year over year and adapt to new tactics as company objectives shift and change.

5. Who will be responsible for providing information and/or keeping the tracker and dashboards up to date?

As important as it is to consider your audience, it is equally as important to think about:

  • How do we make tracking feasible and simple for the organization?

  • Who will be responsible for updating the tracker or providing updates for the tracker?

  • How can we make this simple to limit the time for tracking?

  • Does the information required already exist in some form where it can be leveraged using a business intelligence tool to avoid double entry of data?

As a part of our program management process, Zipher’s project managers familiarize themselves with the abilities of the tactical teams they are working with, and design streamlined trackers for ease of use. We consider the team’s bandwidth and develop trackers that are easy to use and measured to match the project cadence so updating is done in a timely and effective manner.

Additional Considerations

Software Options

There are a variety of program management system options saturating the market today. These options make it challenging to find the best solution for your organization, but we are here to help!

Zipher employs business intelligence tools to present the information through secure data connections. These tools align the updates collected against strategic initiatives and present the information in a way that is appropriate for different groups within MA such as Field Medical, Medical Communications, Biostats, etc. with each group assigned a unique dashboard surrounding their project data and progress. Regional groups can also be provided with their own view (such as US, EU, APAC, etc.). Each team has real-time visibility of the progression for their own projects and leadership can maintain a bird’s eye view while maintaining strict security standards to align with legal and compliance requirements.

Zipher is on your team

Learn more about how Zipher can help your organization achieve your Medical Affairs goals, accelerate execution, and expand internal communications through easy reporting and ensure you achieve your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and communicate value.

Call 508.748.3007 today or fill out the form below.