Case studies

Continuous Improvement for a major Pharmaceutical Group's IT Services

Helping to drive continuous improvement and simplification across a pharmaceutical group’s IT services

key fact

The IT function supports over 50,000 users across the global operations of this pharmaceutical company

Supporting the IT team in developing, implementing and embedding tools and working practices to drive focus on continuous improvement


As a leading pharmaceutical company, our client is focused on transforming lives with innovative drugs that also deliver value to shareholders – all while coping with patent limits, challenging margins and regulatory compliance. Its IT department was very effective at supporting the business and driving competitive advantage. It had already reduced costs, improved internal user satisfaction, and improved the stability of crucial IT systems. But with this success under its belt, the business wanted to put in place mechanisms that helped to drive further improvements.

To achieve this, the IT team established a centre of excellence for continuous improvement with the mandate to identify opportunities for simplification across the organisation, develop an improvement toolkit, and embed a continuous improvement (CI) culture and capability.

With the CI team in the early stages of development and a list of simplification opportunities to start working on, our client needed support in developing, implementing and piloting the tools that could be rolled out across the organisation. Mason Advisory was engaged to join the CI team on an interim basis to provide Lean, Agile and IT service management (ITSM) subject matter expertise to help establish the team and tool sets.


Working as a fully integrated part of the CI team, we provided expertise and external insights to help the team develop, pilot and roll out tools and working practices.

Our approach involved running CI workshops that would get key stakeholders from across the global organisation collaborating. The team then. designed an approach to CI based around user stories and feedback.

Mason Advisory went on to work with the internal team on working practices and simplification priorities, including:

development of an approach based on Lean and capability maturity model integration (CMMI) techniques to assess CI maturity levels and opportunities for improvement

  • Development of a ‘value mapping’ framework and approach for mapping IT applications and associated components to core business processes,
  • Delivering the foundation for driving enterprise management decisions based on a view of the value of IT
  • Identification of a prioritised backlog of opportunities for simplification and improvement of IT to reduce costs and improve outcomes


Mason Advisory played a lead role in supporting the organisation in the design and implementation of tools and ways of working to drive CI and simplification. The resulting toolkit provides service owners across the IT organisation with techniques and approaches that can be applied to remove waste, improve quality and streamline delivery, to achieve their objective of delivering improved outcomes at a reduced cost. In addition, through development and introduction of a ‘value mapping’ framework, we supported the CI team in initiating a shift in focus towards making IT management decisions based on business value.

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