An ongoing problem with most research facilities around the globe is funding. Now that Vertoxin has been discovered, the next step is to get it onto pharmacy shelves across North America. In order to do this Dr. Lingwood and his research team must put the drug through three stages of testing in living human patients. These three stages are estimated to take up to seven years to complete. With the help of additional funding, Dr. Lingwood hopes to bring that number down to three or four years. This is where I come in. My case study problem is raise enough money through government funding to support the testing procedures throughout the four years. When looking at this problem we decided that the best strategy for reaching our objectives would be to use the strategic planning process. This involves setting objectives, developing strategies and creating action plans to accomplish specified goals. Inside are the results of this process.
When setting objectives we looked at two main points. First, how much money we need, and second how to decrease the time estimated to complete the experiments. After brainstorming, these are the two objective we came up with:
1. To obtain $1.5 million – $2 million in funding,
– to be split evenly over four years
2. To shorten the completion time of the three stages
Once our objectives had been set, Dr. Lingwood and I began to develop goal-achieving strategies. When deciding on a suitable strategy we decided to take snap shot of Dr. Lingwoods department in a “perfect world”. In other words, we looked at how the department would operate at peak efficiency and work to find ways to achieve that level of performance.
Objective 1: To obtain $1.5 million – $2 million in funding
Strategies: a) Apply for a grant from the Canadian Cancer Society and/or other appropriate government agencies.
b) Fund raise among wealthy donors
c) Improve awareness of Vertoxin
Objective 2: To shorten the completion time of the three stages.
Strategies: a) Create a list of experiments and procedures along with corresponding deadlines.
b) Increase lab organization to ensure that unnecessary time isnt lost searching for misplaced equipment (it is proven that humans waste one full year of their lives looking for things).
c) Look into new innovative lab procedures and equipment that might decrease the time spent on experiments.
d) Contract out to companies that specialize in doing lab tests for other organizations. This would ensure that our scientists could concentrate on the important tests.
e) Stream-line: Department will examine the procedures needed to complete the project and decide whether any of them might be easily combined or avoided.
Now that we have developed our strategies it is necessary to create action plans to implement them. When we approached this stage, Dr. Lingwood and I took each strategy and broke it down as much as possible to ensure that all aspects were covered. These are our results:
Objective – To obtain $1.5 million – $2 million in funding
Strategy – Apply for a grant from the Canadian Cancer Society and/or appropriate government agencies.
Action Plan- obtain application form from C.C.S
– create a resume of past publications and experience
– create a list of project goals and objectives
– create a report outlining the departments organizational and operationalstructure, a plan for interactive activities involving the C.C.S, adescription of core facilities necessary to support goals and a description of how we will monitor the use of their funds.
– discuss how the department will incorporate women and minorities intotesting
– creating two separate detailed budgets
– budget one is required to outline where the money is to be spent
– budget two is required to outline the departments financialhistory in regards to previous grants
Strategy – Fund raise among wealthy donors.
Action Plan- obtain a list of people who have previously donated money to fightcancer
– create a newsletter containing information about our research and sendpotential donors a copy, including a personalized letter from thedepartment head
– invite the donors to an information seminar
– approach each potential donor privately and personally answering anyquestions they might have
– ensure that donors keep abreast of activities pertaining to Vertoxin toencourage a repeat donation in future
Strategy – Improve awareness of Vertoxin
Action Plan- create a newsletter containing information on what Vertoxin is all about
– run seminars to increase public awareness
– try to get coverage in newspapers/scientific magazines when any advancements are made
– try and get the word Vertoxin included in films/television that are basedaround medicine. i.e. when discussion of hopeful up coming drugs occurs(ex: outbreak, ER etc.)
Objective – To shorten the completion time of the three stages of drug development.
Strategy – Create a list of experiments and procedures along with a deadline of completion beside it.
Action Plan- look at the project objectives and deadlines
– determine when each individual sub-project should be completed
– ask each employee to create a progress report each week to ensure thatdeadlines are met
Strategy – Increase lab organization to ensure that unnecessary time isnt lost searching for misplaced equipment
Action Plan- create map of lab with legend which shows the position of equipment
– run a thorough check of the lab at the end of each day to ensure nothingis left lying about
– require that important equipment be signed out so that if it goes missingyou can track its whereabouts can be tracked
Strategy – Look into new innovative lab procedures and equipment that might decrease the time spent on experiments.
Action Plan- contact other labs and compare our equipment with theirs
– from this determine whether our equipment is as efficient
– determine whether new techniques that have been found useful
– train and retrain staff and on a bimonthly basis to ensure efficientlymanage new and old procedures
Strategy – Contract out to companies that specialize in doing lab tests for otherorganizations.
Action Plan- source a list of potential outside suppliers of research services
– compile a list of experiments that you deem suitable for this supplier to perform
– interview possible candidates and choose one compatible to thedepartments needs
Strategy – Stream-line: The department will examine the procedures needed to complete the project and decide whether any of them might be easily combined or avoided.
Action Plan- prepare a list of procedures and compare them
– decide whether or not any procedures are compatible enough tocombine
– examine other situations where the procedure requirements are similarand determine if there are any procedures that have been foundunnecessary
Unfortunately this strategic planning process will not be implemented for some time, if at all. According to Dr. Lingwood however, there is no reason why it should not work. In the past he used a similar strategy to obtain a grant. Knowing this has given me confidence in my strategic plan.
This assignment has shown me that reaching objectives can be achieved more easily if you break the process down. I have also obtained a new prospective on achieving goals in a real life scenario. Working side by side with a near complete stranger was difficult but made this assignment a far better learning experience. On completion of this assignment I can easily say that this has been one of the most challenging, enjoyable eye-openers I have experienced during high school.