Learning from Success – 2008 FOYA Winners

By Daniel R. Matlis

Long term readers of Life-Science Panorama know that I’m a big advocate of “Learning from Success.” This common sense concept builds on the idea of “learning from failure” but accounts for the fact that life is too short to make every mistake.

During Interphex 2008, I had the opportunity to interview the winners of the Forth annual Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) competition, sponsored by ISPE, INTERPHEX, and Pharmaceutical Processing magazine.

The wining companies and respective award categories are:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co.KG, Biberach, Germany, Facility of the Year Award for Facility Integration for Pharmaceutical R&D Building project
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, Facility of the Year Award for Equipment Innovation for Clinical Supplies Manufacturing and Drug Product Technology Center Expansion project
  • IDT Biologika GmbH, Dessau-Rosslau, Germany, Facility of the Year Award for Operational Excellence for Facility for Production of Live Human Viral Vaccines IDT 201 project • Pfizer, Illertissen, Germany, Facility of the Year Award for Process Innovation for NEWCON (New Containment Facility for Oral Solid Dosage) project
  • F. Hoffmann La Roche AG, Basel, Switzerland, Facility of the Year Award for Project Execution for Bilogics IV project

I was very encouraged to hear many of the same themes as I spoke with representatives from the winning teams.

They included strategies like:

1. Develop, approve and communicate clear requirements
  The project will be mush more efficient and effective 

2. When change happens, and it will, evaluate it against strategic business objectives
  Justify decisions based on the available facts

3. Break down organizational silos by bringing multiple disciplines together 
  It encourages problem solving at the water cooler

4. Involve facility owners and production people early in the design process
  Getting the customer’s voice early and often is key to achieving business objectives

5. Integrate people, technology, quality and the environment into the design phase.
  Use your plan as a guide, but be flexible to address the unexpected

6. Develop a shared vision and norms for working together
  The team must be able to perform through good and bad times

7. Make sure everyone understands that their deliverable must fit into the overall puzzle
  Build ownership and commitment for the entire project, not specific components

8. Work Hard and Play hard
  Don’t forget to incentives and reward hard work and success 

In the coming weeks we will share lessons from their successful strategies in the 2008 edition of the “Learning from Success” series.

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