The Challenge

A global pharmaceutical company’s conversion (manufacturing) cost in $USD per 1000 tablets had increased steadily in recent years and the company wished to take steps to reduce it.

Explic8 consultants defined the Lean strategy for the USA division.

The Ask:

A global pharmaceutical company was looking to setup a Project Management Office (PMO) to support their external manufacturing business.


  • 100+ live projects
  • 102 products/3000+SKUs
  • 183 external network sites

Results and Benefits

  • Dashboard developed for live, up to date clarity on project status
  • Portfolio metrics, clarity on project status & reduced project report meetings
  • Standardised project tool kit developed for each phase of the project lifecycle
  • Budget management and reporting process developed
  • Portfolio governance board & Business Unit forums setup
  • Roles and responsibilities developed across the project lifecycle
  • PMO governance policies developed
  • Project managers trained to the same standard and ongoing PM support installed
  • Project portfolio reporting capability – Quarterly reports submitted to the executive team
  • Guideline documents and templates developed for each phase of the project lifecycle
  • Clarity for internal management on resource utilisation and approval


  • Extremely large and growing project portfolio
  • No definitive source of transparency on the capital investment & resource demands
  • No executive view for portfolio status
  • Highly diverse range of projects:
    • Extremely large and growing
    • Complex technical transfers
    • New market introductions
    • Equipment and facility upgrades
    • Business continuity projects
  • Project managers experience and training varied greatly
  • No effective budget tracking/reporting against projects
  • Key internal processes such as technical transfers not mapped to the project lifecycle


  • Significant company revenue tied to the project portfolio, not visible
  • Repeated questions & confusion surrounding project finances
  • Business risk: Lack of clarity surrounding business continuity projects
  • Over reporting, frustration, lost time and risk due to lack of transparency


  • Develop a standardised tool kit to support the project requirements
  • Develop a reporting structure to facilitate clear project status reporting
  • Roll out project management training to the internal team and across the divisions
  • Setup portfolio governance – Decision making and prioritisation forums
  • Minimise the amount of direct reporting required
  • Establish appropriate project portfolio metrics to support management
  • Develop resource management capability

The Approach:


  • Voice of the Customer
  • PMO User Requirements Specification
  • Project Approval & Communications Plan
  • Process Mapping
  • Project Charter
  • Project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Project Budget Template
  • Project Dashboard
  • Project Risk Register
  • Project Management Training
  • Business Unit Programme Reports
  • Resource Management Template
  • Resource Management Tracker