Pharma’s maturity of working in multi-functional teams is low - when compared to many sectors. What we see in Pharma across the different functions that engage with stakeholders, is a dominant focus on function (functional plans, functional goals, functional rewards) which causes angst when working in Account Teams to pursue shared goals and objectives at an account level.
Stakeholders repeatedly tell us in surveys, research and round tables, how fed up they are ‘filling in the gaps’ for different colleagues from the same company. They often express this as “the left hand doesn’t tell the right hand what is going on” – in other words there is no ‘joined-up’ approach.
This is no easy challenge to overcome, very different functions, typically commercial, medical, market access functions, as an example, need to work together from the start and build a joint plan – one that contributes to, and complements their functional plans.
Medical compliance issues have to be respected but this does not prevent matrix working, it just means certain constraints need to be observed and respected.
Fundamental though, is that there is greater power and speed in a team, all working cohesively, ‘in-sync’, following a shared and agreed plan, in sequence.
So, to set about improving both the level of cross-functional working, coordination between functions and speed of achieving shared objectives, there are a few key steps we can take.