Leo Pharma gets a real-time project visibility for Program Managers

"Orchestra helps us to centralize and view data at every level in Leo Pharma's Global IT portfolio."



Leo Pharma is an independent, research-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing dermatological products for curing skin diseases and giving people healthy skin. Leo Pharma's headquarters are located in Denmark.


Claus Jepsen, Head of PMO & Orchestra System Owner
Jens Ludvig, Principal PMO Manager
Tanja Moenster, IT Business Supporter

Key figures

  • 6,000 employees
  • 76 million patients
  • 130 countries
  • +100 projects

About Leo Pharma

Before using Planisware Orchestra, Leo Pharma IT managed its 100-plus projects within a centralized Excel document, with some reporting being carried out in PowerPoint.

The rising number of projects being undertaken by the pharmaceutical company was making it difficult to do accurate project reporting, and there were also challenges at a higher level in managing the portfolio. True and up-to-date information was being lost across the various Leo Pharma IT departments - all of whom had different versions of the truth.

Because of this, different stakeholders across the business were beginning to make independant project management decisions, based on the information they had in front of them. This of course decentralized the Leo Pharma IT department even futrther from the real-time, true data on their projects and portfolio - crucial data that related to important business factors such as project costs, gate approval dates, and levels of project risk.

Context & Challenges

Leo Pharma IT decided to adopt a properly planned process, plus a tool to manage it. They decided to simplify the project management process by dividing the portfolio into different boards and programs, so that by the time they began the search for a new system, they were well aware of project management best practices, of what what worked and what did not, and they had a maturity level that meant Planisware Orchestra was a great fit-for-purpose solution

In 2018, the company's Head of the PMO, Claus Jepsen, visted Gartner's PPM Summit in London to investigate the solutions referenced in the Gartner PPM Magic Quadrant, of which Planisware is a top-quadrant leader. After a year of in-depth discussions and more than 14 demos with a host of different PPM vendors on the market, Leo Pharma selected Planisware Orchestra as the best provider to manage its projects and portfolios.

Training capabilities and easy adoption of the new tool was a key factor driving their decision, and in the end Orchestra was chosen based on its high usability, collaboration features and its simple, attractive interface. It could be easily adopted by the various roles within the team, simplifying the challenge of change management that so often comes with rolling out a new tool across a large business. 


Training and Change Management

Planisware Orchestra is currently deployed within Leo Pharma's Global IT department. A Change Management team actively works to develop and support users with their ways of working; helping them to move from spreadsheet-based project management practices, to a more collaborative tool-based mentality.

With the support of Planisware, Leo Pharma IT invest a lot of their time in creating Orchestra training materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and short video sessions, allowing users to easily train themselves on the business processes being used.

To ensure best practices within Orchestra are adhered to, and to protect the process they have developed, Leo Pharma IT have minimum user training criteria that new users must undertake before being introduced to the system.

Why Planisware Orchestra?

Leo Pharma Global IT captures project demand, and must evaluate each demand based on a set of criteria before the project team can start their planning.

The Business Case module helps them to do this, by allowing them to prioritize project resources and costs, according to their potential impact on the IT strategy. This module also acts as a communication point between program managers and project managers. Global IT would not have control or visibility of finances without doing this project planning and scheduling stage, so it plays a major role in the Global IT projects within Leo Pharma. This means the finance department is also an active stakeholder for the Orchestra PPM tool.

The Stage-Gate module also plays a significant role in Global IT projects, as it helps the program and project managers to track their key gate milestones, and view a project's current stage. This gives users direct visibility of the stage-gate process in real time. Before Orchestra, every project manager had their own version of the truth, whereas now the data is centralized at each level within Leo Pharma's Global IT portfolio. Orchestra also helps project managers to correct any errors easily. 

The collaborative features built into the Orchestra tool's modules means that all of this information flow is simple,clear and fluid - with users easily able to exchange or share information in real-time.

The biggest gain Leo Pharma have experienced since implementing Planisware Orchestra is the consolidation of their data into a single view, plus the ability to drill down into the actual project plans, finances, resources, risks, issues and change requests. It provide a complete and real-time project overall status visibility to Program Managers. 

Today, Leo Pharma Global IT manages more than 150 IT projects within the Planisware Orchestra tool - with plans to further roll out the tool to the Global Research & Development department, and the Global Product Supply department. This will raise the user count from 200 to 2000 people; and the project count from 150 to around 500 active projects being managed with Orchestra.