Digitalization of Quality organization in global pharmaceutical company

Service: Cascading strategy
Sector: Life sciences
Area of expertise: Digitalization


A global pharmaceutical company was looking to develop and implement a digitalization strategy for the global Quality organization covering more than 1.500 employees. The purpose of the digital quality strategy was to provide a direction for the digitalization of quality work in the value chain of the company in order to:

  1. Improve the efficiency of quality assurance work, quality impacting processes, and in general quality related work
  2. Remove the barriers in processes, tools, and culture that currently was blocking digitalization
  3. Provide clear guidance to the Quality organization on how to approach and work with the potentials of digitalization.


Taking an outset in the existing strategy for the Quality organization, Kopenhagen Konsulting acted as strategic advisor and led the strategy process in collaboration senior management members of the Quality and IT organizations. The work was reported and overseen by the executive quality officer and global quality board.
The applied approach was divided into three layers. First, the business challenges keeping the organization from working with digitalization and leveraging its benefits were identified. Second, the strategic direction was established around four central focus areas to answer the identified challenges. Lastly, the implementation model of the strategy was defined.

Identification of business challenges obstructing digitalization benefits

Kopenhagen Konsulting facilitated the identification of business challenges through +15 workshops with organizational representatives from all parts of the value chain, which was mapped to the desired strategic direction from management as well as external input on industry best practice. This resulted in four overarching challenges that underlined the actual business need for digitalization.

Strategic direction

Based on the derived business challenges, the strategic direction was developed in close collaboration with a working group consisting of senior management representatives from the Quality and IT organization of the company. The selected focus areas were centered around four main objectives with underlying executable deliveries on a short-, medium, and long-term basis.
First, to ensure real-time access to data sources and transform data into business-insights.
Second, to remove organizational barriers, the dependency on paper, and inherent extra process steps in operations.
Third, promote the adaptation of common technology platforms to enable intuitive and transparent workflows. Fourth, to improve the organizational readiness and local digital capabilities.

Implementation model

To ensure that the strategy came to life, Kopenhagen Konsulting supported the working group through the definition of several hands-on areas of operationalization consisting of both top-down and bottom-up initiatives.
As a critical part of the strategy launch, a dedicated digitalization unit was established within the Quality organization to support, guide and incubate the scalable digital opportunities in the business unit, as well as serve as a laisse to the Global IT unit.

Furthermore, an executable catalogue of digitalization ideas was developed based on the various workshops and distributed to the cross-organizational management teams in order to kick-start the bottom-up implementation efforts. In addition, a lighthouse approach to process maturity was implemented, which was supported by a clear engagement model with the corporate IT organization.

Lastly, a set of guiding principles for organizational adoption were defined to ensure that everyone was aligned under the same digitalization agenda and objectives to generate a desired pattern of decision making and behavior for digitalization


The digital quality strategy was presented to and approved by executive management. The new and enhanced focus on digitalization was well-received by all stakeholder groups and the global quality organization, which was introduced and embedded through several inspirational digital company conference days across the year. Furthermore, the digital quality unit quickly onboarded +20 FTEs, with direct reporting to the senior management teams, to ensure adoption and drive in the cross-organizational digitalization efforts across the value chain of the company.