How to Set Realistic Project Deadlines

June 21, 2019

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If you are outsourcing process development (PD), it is highly recommended that you allow sufficient time to reach your goals. Setting realistic project deadlines, and dedicating appropriate resources to the project will be fundamental to its success. 


Poor planning can cause significant delays to the developmental timeline and may even result in failures. As such, it is recommended that you balance realistic expectations with optimism when it comes to setting project timelines and risk mitigation plan.


Your chosen PD partner should be able to provide estimates for project duration. First, you will need to engage in in-depth discussions about your product requirements and status of your developmental program. This will allow your PD partner, as well as you, to fully understand the project details and the required timeframes for each stage. 


It is critical to prospectively build out a few possible scenarios for delivery of milestones. You should ensure that these strategies are clearly communicated to your leadership. Best and worst-case scenarios should be considered and a plan created for each. Visual project management is an extremely useful tool that should be used.


Be aware of pitfalls that occur when teams don’t account for logistics. When you are vetting an outsourcing partner, spend time asking questions about how the team. Understand how your PD partner will handle logistics for your projects – specifically around processing, reporting, and communication. Ask about how they track inventory, and their re-order points both internally and with third parties.


Your partner should also be able to provide you with insight into regulatory requirements that are associated with shipping biologic materials.


Make sure the proposed project Gannt chart accounts for logistics and clearly maps out non-scientific action items. Significant project delays can occur when teams only consider scientific action items and neglect those that are non-scientific.


So, to summarize, when it comes to outsourcing PD there’s a multitude of factors that can, and will, impact the success of your PD project and partnership. It’s important to plan and be realistic. Include different delivery scenarios and allow sufficient time to reach your goals. Make the most out of your internal resources, tools and visual project management. Be aware of the pitfalls and don’t be afraid to spend time asking questions. 


Learn more about what to expect when outsourcing process development in this blog. 


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