The scale and complexity of today's R&D enterprises exceed the capability of a single individual to determine the scientific
direction and make key operational decisions. To continuously improve operational performance, R&D organizations need to create
a COO position, and give the COO the mandate to manage operations across all of R&D in an integrated manner. Large R&D organizations
also may consider appointing COOs of discovery, pre-clinical and development to support the COO.
These changes—like any significant change—will encounter skepticism and initial resistance. But R&D labs can no longer afford
to ignore operational issues if they are to meaningfully reduce the time and cost of bringing new therapies to market. By
appointing COOs for R&D with broad operational mandates, biotech and pharmaceutical companies can ensure that operational
issues get the attention they urgently require.
Jan Malek is a leader in PA Consulting's life science practice. He can be reached at  460-0200.