Associate Director Pharmaceutical Sciences, Business Process Improvement

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Job Description

Are you looking for a patient-focused, innovation-driven company that will inspire you and empower you to shine? Join us as the Associate Director, Business Process Improvement in our Cambridge, MA office.

At Takeda, we are transforming the pharmaceutical industry through our R&D-driven market leadership and being a values-led company. To do this, we empower our people to realize their potential through life-changing work. Certified as a Global Top Employer, we offer stimulating careers, encourage innovation, and strive for excellence in everything we do. We foster an inclusive, collaborative workplace, in which our global teams are united by an unwavering commitment to deliver Better Health and a Brighter Futureto people around the world.

Here, you will be a vital contributor to our inspiring, bold mission.


As Takeda’s R&D pipeline matures, Takeda’s Research Management Council (RMC) has declared that beginning with fiscal year (FY) 2020 the Takeda R&D organization will display an even more increased focus on execution to “Predictively deliver on our key development commitments”. 

Subsequently the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PharmSci) organization will increase its focus on execution, business processes and accelerated transformation, in line with the Takeda R&D operating model, the Takeda R&D strategy and our vision to become an industry leading organization that:

“will partner with stakeholders and industry leaders to boldly deliver an increasingly complex portfolio. Pharmaceutical Sciences will be a world-class, patient-centric organization that attracts, motivates and retains top talent, and implement innovative approaches to deliver high-quality products”.

One year after the acquisition of Shire, with a doubling of the organizational size to over 700 scientists while being leaner on a headcount-to-program ratio, the addition of a European Site in Vienna (Austria) to our already existing sites in San Diego, larger Boston (USA) and Shonan (Japan), the Pharmaceutical Sciences organization sees itself in a unique position to further accelerate its transformation and rethink how we execute.

The Business Excellence and Transformation group drives the PharmSci focus on execution and our future vision and design.  The objective is to deliver on behalf of patients world-wide the promise of a modality-diverse , innovative and accelerating pipeline in various development stages, reaching from pre-clinical, through clinical and pivotal-stage, all the way to medical device development and life cycle management (LCM) activities, that is furthermore heavily partnered.


The Associate Director of PharmSci Business Process Improvement will report into the Head of PharmSci Business Excellence and Transformation and lead efforts to:

Lead/Support the creation of a culture of data driven, continuously improving and innovative business process design

  • Support development of a framework by which to lead critical, large-scale cross-functional business process initiatives and ensure delivery according to strategy and plan

  • Implement the Business Excellence Framework on specific initiatives for PharmSci and provide expertise and leadership to globally drive Continuous Improvement Mindset.

  • Manage cross-functional processes and opportunities for improvement that enable effective execution:

  • Improve PharmSci processes which provide critical input to governance and strategy meetings.  Ensure alignment with Therapeutic Area Units (TAUs) and other key functions within and outside of R&D

  • Execute against a PharmSci model and framework that is consistent across assets and continuously evolves based on lessons learned.  Create and/or support PharmSci portfolio management processes.

  • Implement business processes that support a sustainable approach to technical and execution excellence across the development continuum (R2D2C) and manage project team performance vis-a-vis the framework

  • Support PharmSci Transformation projects to map current state, identify improvement opportunities and define the PharmSci of the Future

  • Lead and/or support the execution of complex global work streams within the future state design effort.  Includes data gathering, analysis of current state and development and execution of future state design.  Will include specific accountability as a business partner in defined area(s): specific technical functions, regions and/or therapeutic areas to identify waste, robustness and process issues within their value stream.  

  • Collaborates with cross functional teams and PharmSci technical functions, PharmSci Leadership and key internal business partners (Research, Global Manufacturing, etc) to ensure successful assessment, execution, and sustainability of such work streams.  Integrates activities across project execution and transformation workstreams

  • Surfaces capacity, pacing, and resourcing issues as well as any other “red flag” considerations that require PharmSci leadership attention or intervention.

  • Ensures effective stakeholder engagement and communication (at all levels of the organization).

  • Ensures timelines are adhered to and engages business excellence and PS senior leadership with respect to significant risks, issues or barriers.

  • Provide project management support to the Head of Business Excellence with primary focus on fully implementing the Business Excellence structure, governance and operating model.

  • Generation of metrics and summary reports to support reporting to the PharmSci Leadership Team

  • Contribute to creating and communicating an employment culture and values which attract, retain, and develop the most effective people.


  • Comprehensive understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and Cell Therapy


  • Demonstrated ability to work across functions, regions and cultures

  • Enterprise level leadership with the ability to inspire, motivate and drive results

  • Excellent communicator, able to persuasively convey both ideas and data, verbally and in writing

  • Proven skills as an effective team player who can engender credibility and confidence within and outside the company

  • Ability to distil complex issues and ideas down to simple comprehensible terms

  • Executive leadership presence and confidence

  • Embraces and demonstrates a diversity and inclusion mindset and role models these behaviors for the organization

  • Ability to develop and drive a Global Workforce and Talent strategy for all colleagues in the Global, Regional and Local organizations

Decision-making and Autonomy

  • Broad decision-making responsibilities:

    • Ability to make highly complex decisions that impact the enterprise

    • Accountable for decision making for Cell Therapy

    • Ability to seek diverse input from multiple constituents and stakeholders to drive innovative solutions

    • Ability to incorporate feedback and ensure decisions are made swiftly to yield flawless execution 

    • Accountable for designing and implementing vision and strategy for designated scope


  • Effectively navigates the changing external and internal environment and leads others through change by creating and inspiring and engaging workplace

  • Ability to effectively implement R&D’s partnership strategy

  • Effectively represent Takeda in High-level negotiations with the ability to resolve conflict in a constructive manner

  • Ability to build strong partnerships and drive role clarity with other interfacing Takeda functions


  • Visionary and forward thinking with the ability to influence and effectively drive organizational change and continuous innovation

  • Comfortable challenging the status quo and bringing forward innovative solutions

  • Ability to take risks implementing innovative solutions, accelerating time to market

Complexity (Products managed, mix of businesses, internal and/or external business environment, cultural considerations)

  • Ability to work in a global ecosystem (internal and external) with a high degree of complexity

  • Breadth of knowledge required across therapeutic areas, indications, and/or modalities


  • BS/BA degree required; Advanced degree preferred; MS/MBA preferred.

  • Minimum 8 years of relevant business experience required; Pharmaceutical experience preferred

  • Minimum 6 years project management and leadership experience

  • Experience in project management and process improvement (lean/six sigma/agile) preferred

  • General Process Development, Research and Technical Operations experience including clinical development, commercialization supply operations, regulatory and compliance experience.

  • Direct experience in CMC R&D in pharmaceutical industry or related field

  • Comfort with ambiguity

  • Self-driven and clear track record of delivery

  • Strong proven ability to manage large and global change agendas

  • Experience working within a complex organization and the ability to influence and work effectively with various business partnerships, regions, and cultures.

  • Excellent communicator with strong written and verbal presentation skills

  • Proven track record of delivering on programs with complex business deliverables is a plus.

  • Capability to mentor and develop people.


  • Travel may be required


  • 401(k) with company match and Annual Retirement Contribution Plan

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • Company match of charitable contributions

  • Health & Wellness programs including onsite flu shots and health screenings

  • Generous time off for vacation and the option to purchase additional vacation days

  • Community Outreach Programs

Empowering Our People to Shine

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Boston, MA

JPN - Shonan Research Center, Vienna, Austria

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