Changing Change Management - How to Ace Change Initiatives in Pharma
- Enterprise IT projects can generally be broken into two groups: 1. daily run-of-the-business – IT operations and infrastructure activities and 2. change initiatives.
- On average, two-thirds of overall enterprise IT spending goes towards infrastructure and operation.
- A clear and coherent change agenda will reduce waste by eliminating failed, delayed, and misaligned projects.
- Shifting investments to a more balanced portfolio to prioritize change initiative projects will overall prove a successful ROI.
How to optimize project successTechnology waits for no one and she’s an expensive date. As companies continue to compete for the most advanced tech and latest innovations IT spending is dramatically increasing. This isn’t surprising seeing as more than 90% of the world’s data was created after 2015. But at the same time, we’re growing and innovating we can see the percentage of project failures increasing. Companies want to explore this unstructured data and leverage it into actionable insights and valuable information, but find themselves unprepared to enter the world of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Generation. While these techs are advanced, the pharmaceutical industry is ready, and our patients need us to be. But fret not, we did some research to find out why IT projects are failing at the rate they are…and we found a major way to optimize project success with the same tools already in your toolbox.
What are IT change initiatives?In this digital era with transformations occurring around every corner, it seems like IT is creeping and seeping into every business unit. HR, accounting, sales, scientists, and everyone else in the organization has a plethora of necessary IT building blocks that need repairs, need updating, and need scaling. These efforts to keep up with the daily run-of-the-business can be categorized as IT operations and infrastructure activities, and they eat up a lot of your executive’s and leadership’s time, focus, and, most unfortunately, two-thirds of their IT budget. You’re probably thinking, OKAY but what about the investments in innovation and revolutionary technology that give you your competitive edge and catapult you into the next era of digital evolution?…the exciting stuff. Well, those cutting-edge tech projects that keep this industry constantly setting the bar higher, are our change initiatives.
Reducing WasteGartner’s research shows that if 30% of an IT budget is allocated to IT change initiatives, of that budget, more than 20% is lost due to initiative failure. Industry analysts haven’t come up with an average project failure rate, but research is showing numbers are reaching as high as 50%. This data tells us that companies want to invest in exciting and transformation change initiatives, but they are diving into the deep end with their eyes closed, and hitting head first. You need a clear direction and focus for these initiatives to see the success and ROI they deserve. Many companies focus almost all their efforts towards IT operations, (about two-thirds of their IT budget) because it is easy to have a clear goal and coherent strategy when it comes to necessary infrastructure. You can quickly calculate how many new computers you need, what kind of processing power is required, and the space you need to manage the updates. But change initiatives, on the other hand, can be very unclear and confusing if the enterprise lacks a change agenda. The goals and strategy need to be specifically defined and documented in a change agenda to drastically improve the chances of the project’s success. When there is no agenda or the strategy is obscure, you will find substantial levels of waste in your change portfolio. This waste is made up of failed projects, delayed projects, and projects lacking strategic coherence. But there are ways to reduce this waste before and during these change initiatives.
- Start by asking questions. “Am I spending too much, not enough, or the right amount on IT?” and most importantly, “Am I spending on the right IT?”
- Organize portfolios of projects that align to the same strategic enterprise goal.
- Rebalance portfolios to spend on the “right IT”.
- Sunset projects that are sure to fail.
- Do you have an organizational chart, with defined roles and responsibilities?
- Is there executive alignment and confirmation of project scope?
- Does a project schedule exist with team members’ hours time assigned?
- Is the solution end-to-end or will this require multiple products to complete this solution, now or down the road?
- How will the solution be maintained going forward?