As 20th century American politician Dudley Field Malone said, “One good analogy is worth three hours’ discussion.”
Using analogies to facilitate collaboration on the IT challenges of supplying cell and gene therapies
Cell and gene therapies (CGTs) are transformative medicines with enormous potential to create personalized therapeutics for patients with diseases that were once untreatable. Yet with these opportunities come some challenges. One is how IT and CGT teams understand each other’s needs and challenges – only once this knowledge gap is bridged will CGTs be produced and administered commercially.
This is where analogies can play a critical part in communication and education. Used properly, analogies can act as a bridge between two worlds through creative dialog and allow each side to understand enough, but not too much, of the other’s world.
This paper uses analogies to help specialists from CGT and IT to discuss and understand the key issues in commercializing CGTs and important aspects of IT systems and infrastructure. The analogies also reveal those differences in a relatable way that stimulates creativity and joint problem solving, which are critical in this fledgling but fast-growing industry.
The analogies are presented in a standard format with a table that uses narrative and imagery to explain why ABC is like XYZ. For example, why creating the digital capabilities to support CGTs is like climbing an unexplored mountain.
The paper and the supporting PowerPoint tool can be used to support discussions about IT investment strategy, architecting IT solutions, designing end-to-end solutions, and supporting life-critical CGT manufacturing operations.
It is for anyone involved in the many discussions around commercializing CGTs, specifically where the teams have a mixture of disciplines from Process Development, IT, Quality, Production, Operations, Scheduling, Project Management, and those involved with third-party logistics.