P114: Utilizing Project Management Software (Smartsheet®) to Capture, Centralize and Communicate Publication Activities
Senior Manager, Medical Communications
Emergent Biosolutions United States
Other authors: John Pittman (co-first author) and Carey Medin (senior author)
To develop an innovative solution to streamline the tracking of multiple publications for various products at different stages of development across multiple therapeutic areas.
The Medical Communications team chose a cloud-based project management software, Smartsheet®, to create a centralized hub for publication activities and user-friendly forms to support publication development, tracking, and detailed metric dashboards for cross-functional visibility and reporting.
A Concept Information Form (CIF) was created to initiate the publication process. Authors with a concept for an abstract or manuscript were provided a link to the form to fill out pertinent information regarding their publication concept. The concept was then presented at a corresponding publication steering committee meeting to ensure cross-functional alignment. Once the concept was aligned cross-functionally, a publication identifier was added to the CIF sheet, which triggered an automated update to the Publication Tracker sheet. Another automation was included to notify the Medical Communications team of any projects that were at risk of not meeting deadlines.
As each publication progressed, updates added to the tracker by the Medical Communications team were fed into the metric sheets, which contained functions that were programmed to pull pre-determined metric information from multiple sheets. Real-time reports were also curated from the Publication Tracker sheet and CIF sheet at regular intervals and to support ad hoc requests. The dashboards collated real-time metrics into multiple graphs and widgets and housed embedded reports that supported the displayed metrics.
This concept intake and publication tracking system was introduced to the Medical Affairs department in November 2021 and has been in continuous use since. Since inception of the CIF, there have been 57 total CIFs submitted which have led to 31 publications being submitted to congresses or journals, and 19 publications that are currently in development.
Publications are the foundation for biotechnology companies to showcase their scientific thought leadership to the external healthcare community. Cloud-based project management software (Smartsheet®) enabled a seamless transition from manual tracking of publication activities to an automated and efficient tracking and management process, covering 57 total publications since inception alone. Additionally, this effort allowed for real-time communication of publication projects’ status, at the individual and departmental levels, to leadership across the organization.
When introducing a cloud-based project management system to an organization, it is important to consider the type of information captured by such a system. Initially, it may be difficult to predict which information or metrics would be useful to individuals or departments when setting up dashboards and reports. Therefore, internal alignment is key to capturing relevant and meaningful data. Additionally, allocated time for training should be considered for individuals who lack experience using a cloud-based project management system so that they fully understand the capabilities and scope of such a system.
With that said, a cloud-based project management software has allowed for a more efficient method to track publications from their concept to completion, has enhanced the reporting capabilities of the Medical Communications team, and has provided improved visibility for all ongoing publication projects across the organization.