Resource Allocation

Implementing a framework for cross-portfolio resource optimisation


A country affiliate of a major pharmaceutical company was re-assessing how it allocated medical, marketing and market access resources across its portfolio of development candidate drugs: “pipeline assets”. The original tool required many inputs and the outputs did not drive decisions, hence it was used only infrequently. The client engaged SiLS to develop a new framework for resource allocation because of their structured and collaborative approach to quantitative analysis in support of decision making.


SiLS helped the client to improve resourcing decisions by reframing the problem and developing a resource allocation tool:

  1. Re-framing the problem. Through a series of discussions with the pipeline leadership team, SiLS characterised the issues and established a set of requirements for a new approach to resource allocation. Thinking about the issue in a new frame – profiling expected activity levels over time for different types of asset – gave the team a more insightful perspective on how they allocated resource.

  2. Developing a resource allocation tool to support decisions. The SiLS team designed and built a tool to prioritise the assets and then derive and visualise the expected resource requirements at different time horizons. The model had the functionality to reprioritise assets, amend the level of resourcing for each asset and shift activity over time, enabling the leadership team to understand resource allocation options and make decisions with awareness of the implications.

SiLS evolved the tool with the leadership team to ensure it optimally supported resource allocation decisions and produced outputs that clearly communicated the rationale to stakeholders.

Recommendations and outcomes

SiLS’ recommendations on the design and use of the resource allocation tool supported a new framework for resource allocation in which the implications of decisions could be seen and used to refine decisions or request greater resource. The new tool is simple-to-use and decision-orientated, which has facilitated its regular use by the team. As a result, the team efficiently focus on resolving the key resourcing issues and can deliver more effective support for the in-country development of the company’s pipeline assets.