Asset Tracking

Some assets being created for a project may transcend milestone dates, i.e. work on such may assets start or stop on dates that may occur before the start of the project or end after the completion of the project.  For this reason, Asset (campaign) Tracking may be an useful adjunct to project tracking.  Asset tracking is the tracking of progress on the development of a particular important asset, allowing for such information to be available to the corporation.   Even so, senior managers are likely to want to define stages so the bulk of work on most assets start and complete within the project milestone dates, within culturally acceptable limits.

An example of an asset where asset tracking may be useful would be lead series discovery or identification. A lead series is a set or series of compounds, with a structural similarity recognizable to project team scientists, which a project team considers capable of giving rise to a potential clinical candidate. The first recognition of such a lead series typically initiates the Lead Optimization stage of Drug Discovery.

The creation of important assets by the project, such as lead series, may not track very well at all to project milestone dates.  There are a number of reasons for this disparity: a) A project is engaged in creating many assets on its behalf; b) A project milestone focuses on the creation of the most critical asset and typically the first asset; and c) Asset creation is not necessarily bound to project milestones. This not wrong, but it can lead to confusion if a manager assumes the asset was created within the project milestones.  So for particularly important assets, tracking of the progress of these assets along with project tracking can provide a more meaningful view of the work in Bio/pharmaceutical R&D.

Examples of other types of asset creation work that could transcend project milestones and stages include the following.

  • Target Validation studies with tool compounds in animal disease models (may start in Target Discovery and finish later on)
  • Genetic mutant mouse models to assist target validation
  • Biomarker development (may begin in Discovery and complete in Development)

This type of work is challenged when projects change names or project ID numbers.  If the corporation finds it worthwhile to track asset creation, separate asset tracking systems need to be established.  In the next section, we will focus on Lead Identification and the campaigns that create lead series.

If the corporation finds it worthwhile to track the development of certain assets, a specific asset tracking system needs to be established.  Lead series are an example of an asset that merits tracking distinct from project tracking.  We have created a white paper entitled “Asset Tracking in Bio/pharmaceutical R&D” that explores the details of establishing an asset tracking system.

Our white paper covers the following topics.

  1. Challenges to Project Tracking
  2. What is a Campaign and how does it relate to a Project
  3. The Value of Campaign Tracking
  4. The Art of Campaign Tracking
    1. Campaign Identifiers
    2. Campaign Tracking System
    3. Electronic tracking system
  5. Data and Analyses that can be Generated from a Lead Identification Campaign Tracking System

To learn more about this whitepaper please go to the section “Whitepapers and Webinars on Portfolio Management from James Samanen Consulting” and look for the whitepaper entitled ”Resource Tracking in Biopharmaceutical R&D”.