Optimizing project-based working in Life Science
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Natasa Liderfelt
Manager, Engineering & Digital Services
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Optimizing project-based working in Life Science.

For companies to become successful, studies of various working models indicate that project-based working can have an important part to play. Moreover, ensuring that staff feel that their views are being taken into account and that they are involved in operations has also become a significant factor in corporate success. A decision was made to consult Semcon, a company with extensive experience of project-based working, when GE Healthcare needed to change its working structure within the project organisation.

The project methodology that formed the basis for the partnership between Semcon and GE Healthcare is known as XLPM, Excellence in Project Management, and it is a scalable, flexible methodology for project-based working. It is used within Semcon and also applied in projects involving customers. The methodology is based on well established standards and can also be customised to meet specific needs.

GE Healthcare is a global corporation operating in the fields of medical technology and life science, and its business represents 1% of all Swedish exports. They bear enormous responsibility for supplying quality-assured products to the pharmaceutical industry, and so they require an extremely clear project organisation.

Cecilia Sjöstedt, CEO at GE Healthcare, wanted to review the internal working structure and examine how the organisation could become more efficient, with clearer distribution of responsibilities. This was why she got in touch with Semcon in early 2019 for a maturity measurement.

Project maturity analysis

Semcon was given the job of performing a maturity analysis relating to project-, programme- and portfolio management. After a few initial meetings, a steering committee was put together to work on the analysis throughout the entire project. The first thing sent out was a questionnaire, in order to find out what a broader selection of people at the company thought about the business procedures at a more general level. They were asked to answer questions on what they thought worked well – and what could be improved – in the projects they are involved in at present.

The next step in the maturity measurement was to carry out in-depth interviews with a number of key individuals at GE Healthcare. Respondents were given the opportunity to describe, in their own words, what they thought of the business and what they thought could be improved. Semcon also examined what values and attitudes staff thought were important to take into account in project-oriented working.

It has been great that the people from GE who participated in this project were so committed, and shared so much information with us.

Elin Sins, Semcon Project Manager

Continuing to work on implementation of measures

The maturity analysis was completed last spring, and the results from the questionnaire, the interviews and additional workshops were presented to staff. The steering committee then compiled an action plan indicating which actions needed to be implemented, and in which order. Semcon is now continuing to manage the implementation of these measures.

Having access to an external party that could gain an overall view of the business from a different perspective than myself or other employees has been a valuable exercise. This makes it easier to see where shortcomings and misunderstandings arise, and it helps us to prevent them more quickly.

Cecilia Sjöstedt, CEO of GE Healthcare

For the project to be as successful as possible, it is important for GE Healthcare staff themselves to feel a sense of ownership and make sure that the measures are implemented.

All in all, I am very pleased with the entire project. Semcon has dealt with project management all the way through, so the fact they will still be on hand to assist gives us a sense of security.

Cecilia Sjöstedt, CEO of GE Healthcare

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