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Key Ways Operational Planning Reduces Risk and Redundancy in Your Life Science Initiatives

Posted by Ryan Coughlin - July 21, 2020


Risk Assessment. Business Concept on Blurred Background. Office Folder with Inscription Risk Assessment on Working Desktop. Risk Assessment - Concept. 3D.A cohesive operational plan plays an integral role in the success of virtually any life science endeavor or initiative. Unfortunately, many life science organizations don’t have the bandwidth for consistent, thorough operational planning. Most initiatives launch with at least a basic strategic plan that outlines big picture deliverables, goals, and vision. However, detailed operational planning processes are often marginalized as life science leaders struggle to manage the chaos and unexpected disruptions in their daily routines. 

Launching a life science initiative based on preliminary strategic planning alone can adversely impact project and program efficiencies, compliance, and performance. Operational planning assesses key initiative components to discover potential process and resource gaps before implementation. Most importantly, innovative operational planning identifies possible risks and redundancies that could jeopardize output and overall initiative success. 

Mission Critical Components of Effective Operational Planning 

A well-defined operational plan takes strategic planning up a notch, enabling life science teams and departments to amplify focus on mission-critical factors, such as:

Allocate Human Capital 
Every strategy must have an assigned owner or stakeholder tasked with seeing it through to implementation. Often, teams or departments move forward with a presumptive understanding of stakeholders or individuals responsible for specific action items. This can quickly lead to ignored or overlooked tasks, instantly increasing possible redundancies and threats to completion. Including a detailed outline of human resources, allocations ensure all relevant strategies are assigned before implementation to streamline overall efficiencies and results. 

Designate Performance Indicators
Establishing a clearly articulated vision along with well-defined goals is essential; however, it’s crucial also to determine a set of performance indicators to gauge progress at various intervals throughout the process. Defining relevant standards or targets equips stakeholders with the tools needed to recognize goal achievement and pivot as needed to reduce threats and vulnerabilities. 

Set Deliverable Timelines
All implemented strategies and goals require a timeline that indicates the work that must be performed and the desired results. There’s no set standard for how long the deliverable time period must be; some strategies may need only a few days while others may stretch across several months. The most crucial thing to consider when establishing a timeline is to ensure that it’s attainable with the given allocated resources.

Determine Financial Resources
Most importantly, operational planning puts heightened emphasis on financial resources, mapping out budgets, and spend goals to drive initiative results. Not every established strategy will require funding or budget considerations. However, most life science initiatives do. Paying employees and contractors to perform work, purchasing required resources, and investing in necessary technologies and tools are just some of the many components that may require financial consideration before moving forward. Insufficient financial resources can quickly lead to project or program fails and increase inherent organizational risk. Operational planning helps life science leaders evaluate budget needs and determine all possible costs and expenditures before implementing any new strategy or practice. 

Are You Leveraging the Power of Effective Operational Planning?

Take Enterey’s Process Improvement Plan assessment to determine gaps and lapses in your current life science business operations. Or, contact our team of life science consultants to learn more about the benefits of operational planning in your organization. 

Topics: Project Management, Program Management, Operational Planning

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