Case Study:

Managing Complexity, Uncertainty And Risks When Working With Vendors


The Challenge:

A Top 25 Pharmaceutical organization planned to implement a large, enterprise technology solution with a project team that had members located around the world. The client project team was represented by members of Drug Development Data Science (data management), Clinical Operations, Clinical Technology Specific Systems Management, Global IT.

Additionally, the Vendor had a small team of people committed to the project. Software Vendors add an extra layer of uncertainty and risk into projects. Vendor team turnover leads to time spent re-educating new resources while bringing them up to speed. Additionally, a lack of vendor communication and information-sharing (like unknown timelines or software updates) can be a real headache.

The client called Praxis for a Project Manager who understood the complexity, uncertainty, and risks associated in collaborating with a vendor for a large-scale enterprise technology implementation.

The Project Manager needed to hold both the project and vendor teams accountable for their responsibilities while making actionable progress on the project.

Pharma Project Managers for large enterprise technology implementation


Our Solution:

We worked with the client’s business leads to understand their current state, expectations/needs, and desired future state. Then, we provided the right Project Manager for this project – a Project Manager capable of leading this +$20 million project to a successful outcome.

The Praxis Project Manager organized a project structure that would ensure client’s internal alignment. Next, they communicated that appropriately as expectations with the vendor for the project. Additionally, the PM provided a clear and professional communication strategy along with a plan to escalate any issues with the vendor.


How We Did It:

We listened to our client as they explained their needs and expectations in order to staff the right resource. Then we provided a Project Manager who had the right capabilities to manage a global cross-functional effort. The PM devised a project structure to effectively manage the client’s internal team and the vendor’s responsibilities.

The Project Manager successfully managed the complexity, uncertainty, and risks pertaining to this project with these key components:

  1. Develop a clear project structure
  2. Enable the client to implement the business process and systems requirements according the client’s controlled document procedures
  3. Keep the vendor accountable for their responsibilities necessary to successfully complete the project
  4. Establish a clear communication strategy and plan between the client and vendor team members. Frequent and regular interval communication was essential to the success of this project.

As a result, the project team received a drug development award in recognition of their success.

Post-project success notes based on receiving the award:

“I would like to add my thanks and congratulations to the team. This has been an excellent cross-functional effort!” – Chief Medical Officer, Head of Drug Development

“Congratulations to all of you for this award. This team continues to do really well, the transition from project mode to business as usual was done successfully, and also challenges like delays with [the technology] are addressed professionally, coming up with alternative solutions.” – Senior Vice President, Drug Development Data Science

“You are one of the biggest contributors to our achievement!” – Program Manager


Praxis Can Help Your Project Succeed

Projects that implement technology are challenging and require project leadership to manage a lot of moving parts, especially when external vendors are involved. Our expert Project Managers understand the complexity, uncertainty, and risks associated with implementing a large-scale enterprise technology solution.

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