The Head of Medical Affairs (MA) in a midsize company was not satisfied with the level of collaboration between his organization and commercial colleagues who did not fully recognize the value of the MA contribution to the success of the company. The goal of the project was to understand and address the root causes of the situation to enable optimization of cross-functional alignment and collaboration. A secondary objective was to ensure that both internal and external partners understand and appreciate the value of the MA organization and how its activities align with brand objectives and ultimately benefit the patient.
In collaboration with a commercial Subject Matter Expert (SME) from KMK Star Alliance (Lisa Pilla), we conducted structured interviews with over 20 Medical and Commercial leaders within the organization, carried out substantial external benchmarking, and held an interim working meeting with internal influencers. Based on the output and on our own insights, we provided Medical Affairs organization with a clear and actionable path forward, including:
- An effective cross-functional mechanism for Annual Operating Plan and Long-range planning.
- A set of improved decision-making practices and avenues for enhanced collaboration for MA organization and its business partners.
- A layout of an enhanced and enduring communications strategy that would support a) cross-functional alignment among internal partners, and b) a shared understanding of each partner’s goals and the value that each brings to the table.
Interactions between the medical and the commercial colleagues were enhanced initially as a result of open and positive engagement in the project. The improvement was accelerated with the implementation of several recommendations, some with our help and others – by the company itself.