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 Please note that the Critical Thinking Project (CTP) is not meant to be a number crunching exercise.  Read the case study and pretend that you are the manager or a research consultant and must assign duties to people to solve the problems that the company is facing.  What would you have others do?  What quantitative tools would you assign people to use to help in making decisions and why?  Be creative.  How would you utilize the quantitative tools that you have learned in the class to help this company? The assignment is based on the Case: Project Portfolio Management at XYZ Pharma that was developed at London School of Economics. The case describes the R&D project selection and prioritization problem at a major pharmaceutical company, a recurrent issue of strategic importance to the company. Students will not be asked to conduct an actual quantitative analysis but to start thinking about how they would frame the project, which quantitative tools they might use and which information to collect. 8-10 slide presentation should be sufficient.  

Students will work on this assignment individually. They will be asked to read the case and then answer the following questions. We do not ask the students to actually conduct a quantitative analysis but we ask them to formulate the problem in the context a quantitative analysis.

Students do not have to follow these guidelines. They are only suggestions. The guidelines listed here are only to help get you started with ideas.

Part 1 – Framing the Project Portfolio Management Problem

Develop a decision framework for project portfolio management at XYZ:

  • What are the objectives?
  • What are the constraints?
  • What are the risks involved?
  • What are your alternatives?
  • What information is required for project portfolio management at XYZ and how can it be collected?

Part 2 – Project Valuation

Before thinking about appropriate portfolio or analytical decisions, the value of each project in the portfolio needs to be determined. How would you determine the value of the following project (‘Project 1’) in XYZ’s portfolio, a project in the pre-clinical phase, part of the Oncology therapeutic area? What additional information would you collect? Which quantitative tool(s) might help you in determining the value of the project?

Part 3 – Project Risk

When implementing project 1, you face technical and market risk. How would you assess the risks embedded in Project 1? What additional information would you collect? Which quantitative tool(s) might help you in determining the project risk?

Part 4 – Project Portfolio Decisions

Suppose that next year’s R&D budget for the oncology area has been reduced to $50 million. How would you decide which projects to continue, and which to put on hold? What additional information would you collect? Which quantitative tool(s) might help you in determining the best portfolio?

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