In this case, the Rx to OTC switch was a large undertaking and driven by strict deadlines. Our team was tasked with transitioning an existing Rx to OTC switch project from a client project manager, drive the team to meet PIND Briefing Book submittal to FDA no later than 3 days before Christmas, and assure readiness for PIND meeting just 3 weeks later. Over the next month, we were then directed to complete a Joint Planning Session to update the overall project plan in an effort to prepare the team for Gate 2 Explore to Development with Category leadership. The majority of the client team, on-site, virtual and global, were assigned to multiple higher priority projects in the business.
The team began by establishing strong linkage and rapport with client’s Rx to OTC switch project sponsor to ascertain and align weekly priorities, expectations, and deliverables with all stakeholders in the face of competing priorities. Next, we quickly developed improved working relationship with key project team members who owned majority responsibility in completing PIND Briefing Book and preparing team for FDA Meeting. Additionally, the team began employing time phased meeting agenda’s, timely minutes and action items with associated follow up to keep team on track. The changed allowed us to remain organized and actively focused on short-term deliverables that supported long-term strategy.
While setting the communication plan and meeting expectations were critical to the team’s success, the path to project completion was laid when we vetted the existing timeline on Microsoft Project. Using the input of key stakeholders, the plan was adjusted, finalized, and distributed ahead of a multi-day, cross-functional workshop. This session was where we saw all of our structure and planning come together, allowing the team to drive to the finish line on the same page.
In the midst of PM transitioning and competing business priorities the PIND Briefing Book submittal and PIND FDA meeting came off as scheduled. Despite a demanding schedule, strict deadlines, and a large team with a long list of stakeholders, the team completed its objectives. Our lessons learned emphasized the importance of excellent team communications and stakeholder management, the multi-day joint planning session, proactively setting meeting expectations & communication channels, and organizing the project plan with the team’s input. Using these practices, the team was set up for continued success on this continuation on this project and future endeavors with members of the team