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Rapid-prototype innovative machine learning forecasting to enhance global resource and capacity planning

The Situation

The global division was comprised of 225 FTEs split into a dozen departments performing a mix of overhead activities and function specific business processes. It outsourced a significant proportion of these activities and needed a capacity planning tool that could capture vendor operations. Resource and capacity planning was managed without a standard framework, leading to sub-par variation in quality.

The Challenge

The goal of this project was to develop an intuitive and innovative resource demand algorithm:

- Be a statistically sound and credible resource forecasting model

- Differentiate standard and exceptional variation

- Allow for routine and ad-hoc resource estimates

- Leverage advanced analytics and methodologies to achieve real-time insights

- Account for time-consuming activities like vendor oversight, audits and inspections, etc.

- Be a standard process

The concept that we agreed to test was to use cutting-edge Machine Learning Predictive Modeling together with advanced visual analytics to advance Global Capacity Planning Management

The Team Approach

We succeeded at identifying and onboarding a highly responsive, cost-effective and competent predictive analytics solution provider. We gained alignment with the new sponsor and the head of Capacity Management and engaged all teams to develop credible assumptions for their respective demand algorithm. We then rapidly developed an intuitive, highly innovative, statistically sound, credible, easy to maintain demand algorithm that would allow these teams to better understand what their teams were working on, better match internal and external resources with workload and more precisely anticipate resource needs for the business plan.

High-Impact Innovation Driving Lasting Results

Machine Learning predicted a need for 251 FTEs and identified a 26 FTE shortage. This significantly outperformed traditional linear regression forecasting that would have over-predicted the need for 28 more FTEs, representing a cost avoidance of approximately $5.6MM in fully loaded costs. In addition, this new approach offered the following lasting benefits:

- Make superior decisions about people

- Increase executive confidence

- Surface deep business insight

- Enable a stronger organizational focus

Rapidly reorganizing

global pharmacovigilance contracting without tears

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The Situation

PV Alliance Contracting was keeping all Global Pharma agreements in negotiation in a legacy Microsoft Access database. It looked at ways to improve its end-to-end process and address unmet needs of the team, e.g. simplify inputs, improve the reporting process, enable tracking of milestones throughout the pharmacovigilance alliance life-cycle, and identify bottlenecks to drive process enhancements.

The Challenge

At the core of almost every business or organization are contracts. Despite the gravity and importance of these documents, no budget was immediately available for this project.

The Team Approach

I helped the team shape and catalyze the delivery
of this vital project in 3 phases:


1. Make it Real – Together, we established project fundamentals, business goals, future state, secured Organizational commitment and gathered high-level requirements.


2. Make it Work - Innovative Improvement: with insights from carefully selected subject matter experts, designed the new interface, site structure, information architecture, taxonomy, workflows and outputs.


3. Make it Last – Identified controls and developed capability transfer plans.

High-impact Innovation driving Lasting Results

The rapid development of a new system for global pharmacovigilance contracts under negotiation saved the Company more than $100,000 in development costs. Examples of realized benefits of the new system:

• Enhanced external value creation

• Simplified input and output processes

• Increased Organizational awareness of the team contribution

• Identified bottlenecks in the process and used for improvement purposes

• Improved record accuracy

• Allowed greater flexibility for workflow tracking and management

• Enabled the team to invest more time into strategy

Feedback received from key business partner:


"The team is very satisfied. Philippe drove this important project with a pragmatic approach, full project plan, clear deliverables and accountabilities. He took the time to understand our remit, workflow, and challenges. He was totally aligned with the team, our executive sponsor and with IT, perceptive in asking questions and soliciting ideas for improvement. Project documentation included very detailed requirements gathering. The solution is sustainable and scalable to address the need to incorporate local pharmacovigilance agreements in the future. Communication was very clear and concise. Philippe created lasting value through innovation, IT technical expertise, advanced analytical skills and teamwork."

Organizational Transformation: Merging two teams into one - creating unity, or doubling problems?

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The Situation

To improve efficiency, decrease operational costs, align with small-molecule companies and optimize value-add, Senior Management decided to consolidate business services of the commercial analytics teams of 2 large-molecule companies, each with different processes, different structures, different locations and dissimilar cultures. We were given 90 days and minimal budget to execute this strategic project.

The Challenge

Getting this right had the potential to create significant opportunities, getting this wrong - to destroy harmony and productivity. Clearly, focusing on simply moving boxes on organization charts would not meet leadership expectations.

The Team Approach

In close collaboration with the executive sponsor, we agreed to follow a nimble 3-step change integration framework to build a high-performing Business Analytics Organization. From cradle to grave, this project was supported by a robust communication plan:


1. MAKING IT REAL, defining business goals and vision for the future state: looking for internal and external customer feedback, best practices, global landscape and trends, long-term game changers; defining a clear scope and case for change; building internal and external stakeholders' commitment to the future state.


2. MAKING IT WORK, assessing both organizations and gaining a shared understanding of the current state: listening, interviewing and ideating to create a holistic SWOT, identifying root causes of organization problems, focusing on coordination between units, surfacing gaps to future state, gaining conceptual agreement on strategic blueprint, critical success factors and success metrics, developing a detailed, prioritized project plan for structure, processes and systems, seeking early wins and rewarding where appropriate, e.g. elimination of non-value added activities, employees displaying outstanding attitude, etc.


3. MAKING IT LAST, ensuring clear accountabilities, clear timelines for knowledge transfer and clear short-term deliverables. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we recorded lessons learned at the end of this project.

High-impact Innovation driving Lasting Results

Results and benefits were multi-dimensional: we were able to better manage the talent pool, prioritize service improvement projects and increase allocation of capacity towards more strategic activities . Operational efficiency was increased manifold, in some cases by as much as 25%, while simultaneously decreasing overall costs. Standard departmental and individual accountability for implementation of shared business goals greatly improved cross-functional collaboration and immediately resulted in advanced agility and unprecedented service performance.