Improvement, Interactivity, Involvement: The 6th Annual Pharmaceutical PPM Toolbox.

The largest European Pharmaceutical event for project and portfolio management experts will take place on March 3rd – 4th 2016 in Basel. More than 30 presenters from companies like Pfizer, Sanofi, Ipsen, Vifor Pharma, PGT Healthcare, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Fresenius Kabi will share their insights.

Last March I stood in front of 150 people, nervous to start my opening speech at the 5th Annual Pharmaceutical PPM Toolbox in Basel. These words have kicked off the 2-day meeting: “Can you imagine what a spectacular view I have right now?” And indeed, looking at the packed room at Swissôtel, all of us at EBCG felt like the 5th Annual meant something really big for our company. I don’t necessarily mean success – yes, we have cemented our position as an organizer of the largest and best European conference for Pharmaceutical PPM experts, but that’s not it. Instead, I have immediately started thinking about the responsibility that we have towards our attendees in the years to come. About what we will do with all your praises and suggestions for improvement. After taking all of that into consideration, this is what you can expect on March 3rd and 4th 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.

The Force of Shared Knowledge

If I had to choose just three words to describe the 6th Annual Pharma PPM Toolbox, it would be these – improvement, interactivity, involvement. Obviously, we have leveraged our experience from the previous 5 years and the event will not only include more speakers (30+), more sessions and thus more information, but will also go more in-depth in terms of content. How? Well, simply put, everyone will have a chance to be a speaker: plenty of interactive Q&A sessions, workshops and focused discussions will allow individual involvement of everyone who wishes to be a part of a “polylogue”. The amount of knowledge that all the people in the room possess altogether is tremendous and it would be a shame if only a few shared their insights. I am really looking forward to see inspiring and even heated discussions instead of solely “classical” presentations that are essentially just one-way communication. The great thing is that you, PPM experts, simply love to talk – sometimes it’s impossible to stop you guys! We are thankful for that, as the friendly atmosphere you help create is one of the reasons why this conference keeps growing.

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Inspirational Stories About Successess… And About Failures

Our speakers could tell you that I can be very demanding when it comes to their topic choice. It is crucial that they are enthusiastic about a given subject and are able to talk in 1st person: I have done this, I have encountered this issue, I have found this solution and even „I have failed.“ We will cover everything from positive to negative, from strategic topics to practical, from soft skills to budgeting. Day 1 will offer six presentations and plenty of discussions, campfire sessions and hands-on workshops to choose from. Day 2 will consist of three streams to give you plenty of options: one focused on project management, another one on portfolio management, plus a third one divided into topics of risk management and PPM in generic companies.

I will explain the program in-depth in further articles, however, I’d like to point out two case studies that send an important signal. Why? Because they will focus on hitting rock bottom, but not on giving up – on the contrary, the main takeaway will be how the „dark“ can lead to improvement.  These stories will be shared by Andreas Norlin (Novo Nordisk), who will explain how to deal with a situation when an entire project portfolio is closed – and will show you the value of creating meaning in a seemingly hopeless situation. Marcus Stark from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health will recall his experience with project transition – how he felt when he realized that his time is over, and how he took the new opportunity when his role changed from doer to mentor.

This means that we create a truly open environment for people who trust each other and what they do is not just a job, but a mission. The stories that will be shared are often personal, and in a delicate industry such as Pharma it can be very difficult to choose what can be disclosed and what is not ready yet. I guess that’s why it’s not every day that more than 30 of your peers from companies of all sizes and backgrounds are ready to talk to you about what they’ve been through. Don’t miss it next March in Basel.



This article was written by Kristina Priecelova, Conference Program Manager at EBCG. Kristina is the driving force behind some of our most successful healthcare conferences such as the Pharmaceutical PPM Toolbox series and Medical Devices 3P Forum.


Like what you’re reading? Check out my previous articles:

Difficult Beginnings and Improbable Successes: Our Journey To The US Pharma PPM Toolbox
The Power of “Yes”: The US Pharma PPM Toolbox, Day 1
We Want to Hear All of You: Day 2 of The US Pharma PPM Toolbox