Case Study

National Institutes of Health, Office of Technology Transfer: Technology Transfer Fit Gap Analysis — From Silos to Enterprise‐Wide

Key Findings

  1. It is important when working with groups that have significant disparities in funding levels and associated power within an overall organization, to ensure all user have an equal voice in the process.
  2. When vendors appear roughly equivalent in value from a technical perspective, due diligence regarding the vendors themselves is key.
  3. The most efficient way to get input on a group’s business process flow is to find the group with the most complex version of that process flow and validate it. Once complete, the other groups can easily prune the complexities and add any edge cases.

Challenge

Per National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) plays a key role in moving medical innovation from the benchtop through additional research and development, testing, regulatory approval, manufacturing, and distribution as a medical product. The process of overseeing technology transfer (TT) leverages software tools and sophisticated management techniques and processes that help laboratories commercialize their discoveries.

The effective and skillful use of a combination of these tools enables laboratories to commercialize discoveries that ultimately reach the public. While OTT continues to oversee royalty administration, marketing activities, and administration of legal services related to patent prosecution, it recently decentralized patenting and licensing activities at the Institute and Center (IC) laboratory level where the discoveries take place.

Solution

OTT contracted TCG to document high level processes, conduct market research and recommend suitable and viable integrated solutions for a future-state system. Our solution included contract and project management; business process analysis and re-engineering; scientific and administrative solutions requirements definition, use cases, and requirements traceability; market research; fit-gap analyses and development (using techniques such as Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR)); and ROI cost estimates.

Results

TCG reviewed 50+ documents and interviewed 50+ staff. We then developed 41 user stories that were validated by the users as well as 13 As-Is and 12 Should-Be Process Flows. This information then populated a Requirements Traceability Matrix of 232 requirements grouped into 17 critical functional and system requirements in 7 categories. We conducted a DAR of six vendor solutions, critiquing vendor documentation and demonstrations. We delivered several reports on-time and within budget that summarized the fit-gap analysis activities, and provided a cost assessments for budget planning.

Accolades

TCG received CPARS ratings of “Exceptional” for all categories with comments including:

  • “[We] appreciated the fact that we worked as a team unit and cohesively.”
  • “We didn’t anticipate some of the issues that came up. When they did, we were immediately notified and an appropriate resolution was brought to the issues. Not only was it quick, the resolution was to NIH’s satisfaction.”