Imple­men­ta­ti­on of Hybrid Pro­ject Manage­ment Throug­hout the Company

Digi­ta­liza­ti­on in Phar­maceu­ti­cal Company

Soft­ware Imple­men­ta­ti­on is often per­cei­ved as a com­plex under­ta­king which is met with litt­le accep­tance on part of the employees, par­ti­cu­lar­ly if it includes the imple­men­ta­ti­on of new methods. At Losan Phar­ma GmbH, things were quite dif­fe­rent. Here, pro­ject manage­ment soft­ware was imple­men­ted in two steps while rely­ing on hybrid pro­ject manage­ment. The hybrid sys­tem allows to pro­vi­de each employee only with the scope of func­tions he/she requi­res for his/her work depen­ding on the plan­ning hori­zon. Plan­ners can con­ti­nue to use the estab­lished tra­di­tio­nal plan­ning method with an exten­si­ve ran­ge of func­tions while the majo­ri­ty of employees com­ple­te their task manage­ment and time recor­ding with gre­at ease using the agi­le tool fol­lo­wing its imple­men­ta­ti­on throug­hout the company.

The enti­re staff could be inte­gra­ted in a stan­dar­di­zed pro­ject manage­ment gover­nan­ce struc­tu­re. By imple­men­ting a stan­dard pro­ject pro­cess, digi­ta­liza­ti­on could be rea­li­zed with suc­cess and the com­pa­ny now dis­po­ses of a more modern pro­ject manage­ment set­up wit­hout aban­do­ning its pro­ven PM tool and its estab­lished plan­ning method.

Con­trol Com­plex Projects

In 2007, Losan imple­ments the mul­ti-pro­ject manage­ment sys­tem PLANTA pro­ject, initi­al­ly only in the area of rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment, for plan­ning and rea­liza­ti­on of exter­nal deve­lo­p­ment pro­jects for the pro­duc­tion and pack­a­ging of phar­maceu­ti­cals and test samples.

PLANTA pro­ject allows 40 employees in F&E to struc­tu­re the often com­pre­hen­si­ve pro­jects with long lead times and many work packa­ges and their com­plex data for dates, effort, and qua­li­ty data. The sys­tem in which time is recor­ded on work packa­ges allows for trans­pa­rent accoun­ting of hours work­ed and accrued cos­ts which can then be com­mu­ni­ca­ted to the cli­ent along with the invoice. Cus­to­mer pro­jects are plan­ned with mile­sto­nes using the pro­ven tra­di­tio­nal plan­ning method in accordance with the cas­ca­de model. With the help of tem­pla­tes, indi­vi­du­al cus­to­mer pro­ject plans are crea­ted, the requi­red resour­ces are assi­gned, and con­trol­ling can be car­ri­ed out effi­ci­ent­ly for both Losan and its cus­to­mers.

hybrides Projektmanagement bei Losan Pharma

Hybrid Pro­ject Manage­ment Throug­hout the Company

Due to capa­ci­ty expan­si­ons, digi­ta­liza­ti­on and auto­ma­ti­on pro­jects as well as the con­s­truc­tion of ano­ther busi­ness site, 12 years later, Losan was deal­ing with such a lar­ge num­ber of pro­jects that a com­pa­ny-wide pro­ject manage­ment solu­ti­on beca­me neces­sa­ry. In late 2019, an inter­nal pro­ject with employees from all com­pa­ny depart­ments was laun­ched. All pro­jects were sup­po­sed to be car­ri­ed out in accordance with stan­dar­di­zed plans and a uni­form metho­do­lo­gy. Each pro­ject mem­ber was to mana­ge his/her own tasks and record his/her hours work­ed , so that they can be jux­ta­po­sed with the pro­ject budget.

The agi­le tool PLANTA pul­se was rol­led out for all 600 employees who work at the two busi­ness sites and is pri­ma­ri­ly used for task manage­ment and recor­ding of hours work­ed via Kan­ban boards. The hybrid con­nec­tion to the plan­ning tool PLANTA pro­ject allows them to retain the estab­lished pro­ject plan­ning method and to car­ry out effi­ci­ent pro­ject con­trol­ling at the same time.
With the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on tool PLANTA pul­se, they can can also plan pro­jects in an agi­le man­ner accor­ding to Kan­ban and Scrum and car­ry out sprints to respond fle­xi­bly to chan­ging requirements. 
Howe­ver, Losan only uses agi­le plan­ning spo­ra­di­cal­ly for inter­nal orga­ni­sa­ti­on pro­jects. They still plan their phar­maceu­ti­cal pro­jects, a sec­tor which is high­ly regu­la­ted, with PLANTA pro­ject sin­ce they come with fixed dates and spe­ci­fic objec­ti­ves, e.g. a mar­ket appr­oval for a drug by a fixed date or lar­ge-sca­le infra­struc­tu­ral pro­jects with exten­si­ve recon­s­truc­tion of pro­duc­tion rooms/laboratories which must be qua­li­fied and accept­ed by the regio­nal coun­cil to get appr­oval for the pro­duc­tion of medi­cinal pro­ducts at that site (GMP “Good Manu­fac­tu­ring Practice”).

New Gover­nan­ce Structure

To imple­ment stan­dar­di­zed hybrid pro­ject manage­ment throug­hout the com­pa­ny, a stan­dard pro­ject pro­cess and a PM gui­de for the 4 pha­ses of pre­pa­ra­ti­on, plan­ning + initia­ti­on, con­trol­ling, and fina­liza­ti­on with check­lists and appr­ovals was deve­lo­ped and map­ped in the PLANTA sys­tem. This deve­lo­p­ment brought about the new gover­nan­ce struc­tu­re for com­plex admi­nis­tra­ti­on of cus­to­mer and com­pa­ny pro­jects. Accor­ding to the poli­cy, every pro­ject must be plan­ned, bud­get­ed, and appro­ved in PLANTA pro­ject in line with an appr­oval pro­cess. It is obli­ga­to­ry for all employees to car­ry out their task manage­ment with PLANTA pul­se and they have the duty to car­ry out tie recor­ding on all pro­jects. Hours work­ed can be recor­ded wit­hout media break on cards in the pul­se board, right whe­re employees mana­ge their tasks. For bud­get plan­ning, pro­ject con­trol­ling and sta­tus report crea­ti­on rely are based on the recor­ded hours work­ed from the projects.

logo losan hybrides projektmanagement

Using PLANTA sin­ce 2007
Hybrid PM sin­ce 2020

Eva­lua­ti­on Project

In 2019, the PM soft­ware which had been used for F&E for 12 years should under­go a cri­ti­cal review in the cour­se of an exter­nal eva­lua­ti­on pro­ject. The requi­re­ments of all mana­gers were taken into account in the assess­ment. In the assess­ment results, PLANTA took the second place. Howe­ver, sin­ce the expe­ri­ence made with PLANTA pro­ject in the area of F&E was very good, Losan did not deci­de to imple­ment a new soft­ware for pro­ject plan­ning but to roll out PLANTA pro­ject in all depart­ments.

Avo­id Hyper-Administration

Losan’s pri­ma­ry goal is to include all com­pa­ny pro­jects in their pro­ject manage­ment while avo­i­ding hyper-admi­nis­tra­ti­on. A cen­tral pro­ject manage­ment office which over­sees the cen­tral pro­ject plan­ning in coope­ra­ti­on with a pro­ject port­fo­lio stee­ring com­mit­tee help to achie­ve this goal. This struc­tu­re is backed up by six PMOs who unbur­den the pro­ject mana­gers in pro­ject admi­nis­tra­ti­on and fur­ther­mo­re make sure that the gover­nan­ce be adhe­red to. Ano­ther fac­tor that helps to avo­id hyper-admi­nis­tra­ti­on is that exter­nal cus­to­mer pro­jects are struc­tu­red by three cate­go­ries: smal­ler C pro­jects, of which around 35 run simul­ta­neous­ly, are plan­ned in only one task in PLANTA pro­ject. Detail­ed task plan­ning is car­ri­ed out in PLANTA pul­se in accordance with the typi­cal Kan­ban prin­ci­ple: todo, in pro­cess, in test­ing, approved/completed. Tasks can be plan­ned in any num­ber in the Kan­ban board. Each employee has a clear over­view of his/her tasks and the pro­ject plan in the tra­di­tio­nal tool remains unclut­te­red. For the B pro­jects, of which around 20–25 run simul­ta­neous­ly, the­re are usual­ly seve­ral tasks in pro­ject for report­ing and seve­ral boards in pul­se. Lar­ge-sca­le A pro­jects are pro­jects like the afo­re­men­tio­ned infra­struc­tu­ral pro­jects, of which usual­ly 5 run simul­ta­neous­ly and in which new lines of pro­duc­tion or buil­dings are plan­ned with bud­gets run­ning into the mil­li­ons. The expan­si­on of their own plant is map­ped as a pro­gram which com­pri­ses seve­ral projects.

The per­sons respon­si­ble for the digi­ta­liza­ti­on pro­ject, Kers­tin Moerel, head of pro­ject & pro­cess manage­ment R&D + lead pro­ject manage­ment office, tells us that the new task tool is used on a dai­ly basis and that it can be used intui­tively, which means that hard­ly any trai­ning is requi­red which increased its accep­tance by the staff. „The bene­fit of the new tool is not limi­t­ed to the fact that it enables all employees to mana­ge their tasks in boards but it also impro­ves com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and col­la­bo­ra­ti­on signi­fi­cant­ly. PLANTA pul­se is a very good col­la­bo­ra­ti­on tool which allows us to redu­ce mail traf­fic signi­fi­cant­ly sin­ce now ever­y­thing is set out on cards in Kan­ban boards and ever­y­bo­dy is included in the infor­ma­ti­on chain. It ser­ves to map depart­ment boards, mee­ting boards, and even vaca­ti­on plan­ning, so that all employees con­cer­ned can keep them­sel­ves up to date. In the pan­de­mic, we also intro­du­ced digi­ta­li­zed store flo­or manage­ment, a short mee­ting in the mor­ning during which exis­ting pro­blems are dis­cus­sed which are then docu­men­ted trans­par­ent­ly on cards so that ever­yo­ne can con­sult them and find out who has sol­ved them or will sol­ve them and how. This does not only bene­fit our pro­ject manage­ment but also per­fect­ly assists us in our day-to-day busi­ness and helps us to keep ever­yo­ne up-to-date.

Objec­ti­ves Achie­ved and Pro­blems Solved

Accor­ding to Losan, the intro­duc­tion of hybrid pro­ject manage­ment throug­hout the com­pa­ny in two steps has enab­led them to achie­ve its pro­ject manage­ment objec­ti­ves and to sol­ve exis­ting problems:

  1. Signi­fi­cant impro­ve­ment in cost con­trol across all pro­jects in all departments
  2. More relia­ble bud­ge­ting with les­sons lear­ned from pre­vious projects
  3. Much bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and col­la­bo­ra­ti­on and bet­ter exch­an­ge of infor­ma­ti­on in remo­te work during the pan­de­mic as a result of the intro­duc­tion of shop­f­lo­or manage­ment on pul­se boards
  4. Good resour­ce manage­ment which helps to deci­de whe­ther or not to accept new cus­to­mer orders due to a good over­view of available capacities
  5. Task manage­ment for all becau­se now, all depart­ments are inte­gra­ted in our new hybrid planning
  6. Fast roll­out of the hybrid method in the enti­re com­pa­ny sin­ce it does not ent­ail a chan­ge in pro­ject cul­tu­re and the estab­lished plan­ning method for F&E was retained

Addi­tio­nal Com­pon­ents Used

Losan also uses the Port­fo­lio com­po­nent of PLANTA’s enter­pri­se pro­ject manage­ment sys­tem to faci­li­ta­te the management’s decis­i­on making in stra­te­gic pro­jects, e.g. by means of risk and oppor­tu­ni­ty eva­lua­ti­on. Sin­ce the stan­dard func­tion­a­li­ties of the new PLANTA ver­si­ons alre­a­dy meet Losan’s needs, they now use the cus­to­mi­zing opti­ons of the soft­ware suite to a lower ext­ent than befo­re when all plan­ning was car­ri­ed out in F&E pro­jects. The next upco­ming pro­ject is an inter­face bet­ween the PLANTA sys­tems and SAP ERP to achie­ve a bet­ter inte­gra­ti­on of the iso­la­ted pro­ject manage­ment solu­ti­on into the com­pa­ny IT.