Best Practices for Use of Non-FTEs: The LifeSciHub Net Performance Score

Drug Sponsor HR

LifeSciHub’s Net Performance Score (NPS), adapted from Bain & Co’s original Net Promoter Score, is a critical tool in the strategic use of non-FTEs.  As a community of independently incorporated drug development experts, we have a wealth of experience to draw from in terms of characteristics of successful non-full time employee (FTE) engagements. 

Two issues determine project success or failure:  scope and communication.  Unfortunately for drug sponsors, not all corporate cultures are aligned well with or skilled at effective communication and scope management when using non-FTEs.  

Take Anna, head of Clinical Operations at a drug sponsor, and Danielle, her independent data management expert.  Anna felt it wasn’t necessary to include Danielle in certain emails because she wasn’t a full time employee.   However Danielle felt she needed more information, not less, to be an effective member of the team.   

Being included, or not, on emails is a common clash of expectation and even culture.  There are a myriad of points where disconnects of whatever kind can derail a project.  This is especially true for projects that last over months or even years.  Furthermore, non FTEs usually fall outside of the typical FTE evaluation structure, i.e., the annual performance evaluation, leaving the project performance status undiscussed and vague. 

LifeSciHub’s NPS Score provides a monthly touch point for the sole purpose of catching issues early and opening a dialog for resolution.  With just two questions, it is a quick, easy check in on the two most important non-FTE issues:  scope and communication, with the answers being either green, amber, or red, see Figure 1.

Figure 1: LifeSciHub NPS Score Criteria

The NPS score is asked of both parties- the hiring entity, and the independent expert, so that both parties have a chance to evaluate how each feels the scope and communication are going.  The answers are surfaced on the platform to both parties as well.  If one party feels something is amber, this is an excellent indicator that discussion and possible adjustment is needed.  Without an NPS score it may be difficult to raise issues. The issues may go undiscussed for too long- a sure way to damage a working relationship and/or project.

The NPS Scores accumulate throughout the project, so the track record of NPS Scores are always available.  Six or 12 months later, it might be useful to look back on the history of the NPS Scores, as that might inform an issue happening later in the project, see Figure 2. 

The LifeSciHub NPS Score is a quality-by-design, non-threatening, and clear process to ensure successful, strategic use of Non-FTEs.

Figure 2: NPS Score Monthly Reporting