Why should a Commercial Operations team be using launch readiness trackers?
Launching a new product in the pharmaceutical industry is a complicated process involving several different functions, and requires many departments to work together. The success of a new product launch depends, to a large extent, on the implementation of a robust launch readiness plan. Many pharmaceutical companies use a launch readiness tracker to aid and streamline their launch readiness plans.
We are a healthcare consulting firm, and believe this is a wise move. In this blog, we will be covering what a launch readiness tracker is, its benefits, and aspects to consider when creating a launch tracker.
A launch readiness tracker essentially monitors the progress of a company’s readiness to launch a product in a given country or region. Tracking the functions, strategic imperatives, and activities of the product helps the company evaluate its launch readiness plan. A tracker with a dynamic Gantt chart gives a clear, helpful visualization of planned vs. actual activities.
A launch tracker captures planned and actual dates, assigns the current status of each activity, and incorporates comments for each activity and milestone. This helps the launch manager leading the process to evaluate the product launch plan and formulate a risk mitigation strategy.
Thus, the maintenance of such trackers helps pharmaceutical companies to determine the time required for each activity, identify the gaps between the functions, formulate risk mitigation steps and plan ideal product launches.
Once you are sold on the value and merits of a launch readiness tracker, you need to consider how you are going to create your tracker. The most critical points to consider when creating a launch tracker are the following:
· Alignment – There are many instances where companies use global, regional, or country-level launch trackers to track new product launches. In such cases, the country tracker must align with the global tracker in structure and features. This avoids the confusion between the global and country trackers, and doing so also allows the trackers to be compared with one another.
· Updates – The trackers must be updated regularly. Monthly reporting is one of the best ways to track the planned activities, and to see how many of them have gone as per plan. It gives a clear picture of which activities are completed on time and also highlights the activities that are either delayed or yet to start.
· Action steps – The tracker should have a section for risk mitigation. Trackers are worthy only when the risks are identified and relevant steps are taken to mitigate them.
· Accountability and responsibility – Identify the right person accountable or responsible for the given activities and milestones. This ensures the smooth flow of activities without any barriers.
· Planning the activities – Since the launch readiness plan involves cross-functional teams, the activities should be planned involving a team from all the functions involved in the new product launch. Planning the activities is one of the pivotal tasks that dictates the success of the launch readiness plan.
· Status and comments for the activities – The trackers should also capture the status and comments. The end user must provide the status and comment for each activity. This information is very helpful for the top management to make relevant decisions.
· Monitoring the expenses – A section on monitoring the expenses makes the trackers more robust. This means that budgets can be managed better.
· Communication between departments – The launch readiness plan involves a cross-functional team. The design and population of the trackers may involve a team from many departments. Communication is imperative to ensure a smooth flow between the teams.
Appropriate planning is critical to any business, but it is especially necessary for the pharmaceutical industry. It is important that drug safety, efficacy, and administration runs smoothly and to plan. The support of a tracking tool like a launch readiness tracker heightens the probability of an ideal product launch dramatically. So, it is essential that companies embrace this approach and give themselves better odds when launching crucial drugs.