SOURCE: marcus evans

marcus evans

November 04, 2015 11:06 ET

Drive Decision Making With a Holistic Capacity Planning Approach

Interview With Dougal Beard, Head of Capacity Planning and Resource Management, GSK Consumer Healthcare R&D

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - November 04, 2015) - With increased pressures on R&D performance, reliable portfolio and resource management practices are required in the pharmaceutical industry. These practices can help to streamline business operations, enable quality decision-making and provide a competitive advantage in today's complex global environment. Aligning strategic and operational portfolio management approaches is crucial for companies to meet the needs of the organization and optimize the portfolio.

Dougal Beard, Head of Capacity Planning and Resource Management at GSK Consumer Healthcare R&D, recently spoke with marcus evans about some of the portfolio management topics to be discussed at the 9th Pharma Resource Planning & Portfolio Management Conference.

How do business objectives play a role in portfolio data and system requirements?

DB: Systems within organizations are typically used to simplify, manage or report on particular processes or capabilities; however they are only as good as the information they provide (and therefore contain) and the governance surrounding them. Their entire existence within an organization should be driven by business needs; their output and the extent to which they are fit-for-purpose should be continually reviewed and updated accordingly to ensure that these needs can still be met.

What are the benefits of using a modular, scalable portfolio management framework?

DB: The two main benefits are consistency and efficiency. Consistency because everyone is using the same language; the same process; the same assumptions; the same reports -- thereby allowing a comparison at multiple levels across functions and groups of projects that are otherwise very different. Efficiency because the relative effort of adding or removing different components -- individuals, teams, projects, types of activity, etc. -- is very low. Overall this approach makes the entire process -- from data collection to analysis to reporting -- far easier and much less time-consuming.

How do you minimize the amount of disruption to the business when implementing new portfolio systems or processes?

DB: There are several things to consider:

  • It is critical to have real senior sponsorship and engagement. If the business need has been recognized and well communicated at a strategic level, discussions about the practicalities of implementation can be reached far more quickly.
  • It is important to quickly identify, and work closely with individuals within the business who can act as 'champions' for the new ways of working; who can provide a more detailed understanding of some of the practical considerations, as well as real-world advice about the more qualitative aspects of implementation (stakeholder engagement, business readiness, etc.).
  • You need to make sure you have done your thinking and get your comms right. People have day jobs and, more often than not, will not see the immediate benefit of what you are trying to deliver. If they can't see why it's going to help them, they are less likely to become engaged.
  • Make sure your timescales are realistic and take account of broader business activities. There are typically multiple change initiatives taking place at any one time, particularly in large organizations -- and that's on top of business-as-usual; so it's important to avoid 'change fatigue' as well as ensuring there are no overlaps or duplication of effort.

What are the implications of better capacity planning on broader business processes?

DB: When done well, capacity planning can help to identify, ahead of time, potential conflicts between supply and demand; thereby enabling proactive, evidence-based prioritization decisions. This can not only improve short-term project delivery, but also -- when combined with other financial information and processes -- the ability of the organization to optimize resource allocation, ultimately helping to minimize cost and maximize output.

Dougal is responsible for R&D capacity planning and resource management at GSK Consumer Healthcare, where he is currently working to drive performance and decision making across the global R&D portfolio. He has over 13 years' of analytics-based experience in consulting and commercial organizations; and specializes in the design and implementation of large-scale performance improvement initiatives. Dougal has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics with French from the University of Aberdeen; and an MSc in Operational Research from the University of Strathclyde.

Join Dougal at the 9th Pharma Resource Planning & Portfolio Management Conference, March 9-10, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, please visit the conference website or contact Tyler Kelch, Assistant Marketing Manager, marcus evans at 312.894.6310 or

About marcus evans

Marcus evans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually; ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.

Image Available:

Contact Information