Human performance (HuP): A new measurement approach to better drive, safety, quality, reliability in biopharmaceuticals

This guide developed by the Human Performance (HuP) team has explains how biopharmaceutical operations can understand and measure performance in a more meaningful way to capture risks and enable sustainable learning and improvement, through what is known as the Family II mindset.

The Family II approach is one aspect of HuP that helps an organization understand how to operate in a way that brings out the best in its employees and to ensure that it is learning and improving. Measuring and monitoring performance is a key part of how employees understand what is important to an organization, and how they identify what actions and activities are most important to achieve performance goals. Where the current status is to focus in on achieving zero targets in terms of deviation or accident rates, it drives unwanted behaviors such a non-reporting that can have a negative impact on performance.

The paper, titled “A new measurement approach to better safety, drive, quality and reliability in biopharmaceuticals”, proposes another way to think about metrics that is forward-focused.

Amy Wilson, Biogen, explains that “for Biogen, one of the things we have implemented is a metric that looks at what is reported by employees as challenges and for how many of these solutions have been implemented as a result. Last quarter, close to 200 actions were taken as a result of employee reports.

“That is a really positive message for our employees,” continues Wilson, “each of those instances is a good story about how we are thinking about performance in a positive way that can make a difference. Additionally, it sends a message to our employees that we are listening to them.”

The data collected by companies who have adopted this approach is often new data not previously collected or analyzed.  Putting open reporting and potentially other new practices in place helps drive to these new results.

Four companies have piloted the Family II approach in the white paper and types of data measured is around success rates, employee reporting, implementation of such reports, and management communication. These are usually areas not currently measured by organizations and reporting of them needs to be put into place in the first instance which promotes this change in culture.

“By virtue of putting these things in place like work observation and reporting, it forces the focus onto understanding how the work is performed,” says Wilson, “which in turn creates a culture that is open to collaborating to make things better, more reliable and safer.”

In the dynamic environments within the biopharmaceutical industry the goal should not be to report less in attempting to reach zero events, but to change the perspective of what good looks like and that is the key benefit to this paper.

The paper shows that while reporting proactive approaches to performance can be complex, it is possible when looking at the right metrics to demonstrate the return on investment of this approach.

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