Applying the 4 P’s to get to “The Science of the Deal:” Tips on Planning

Updated Oct. 12, 2010

Editor’s Note: This is the second post in a five-part series examining Fuentek’s Deal-Making 4 P’s.

As I noted in my previous post, Fuentek’s proven Deal-Making 4 P’s can position your Technology Transfer Office (TTO) to more consistently and predictably execute licensing agreements for your institution. The Deal-Making 4 P’s are:

  1. Planning
  2. People
  3. Process
  4. Platform

Let’s look at Planning in more detail. Planning requires a conscious commitment to reserve and invest the time to review the projects, trends, and key metrics for your office. This is certainly easier said than done, but is essential to providing effective leadership for your TTO. Several questions to contemplate in this area include:

How do you keep your staff focused and not distracted by lower priority tasks and initiatives that prevent your organization from achieving stated goals (i.e., licensing deals)?

For the technologies you are actively marketing at this time, how many resources (time and funding) have you already expended and expect to spend before a deal is signed? Is the expected revenue stream from the deal greater than the cost?

Do your operational metrics reflect progress toward achieving your institutional and TTO goals, or are you just capturing and reporting on readily available metrics? For more about metrics, check out our paper “How’d We Do?: Establishing Useful Technology Transfer Metrics”.

If you find that you are spending a disproportionate amount of time on activities that are not directly impacting your goals, you should consider re-evaluating the current set of goals to ensure they are appropriate for your organization, or re-distribute priorities and responsibilities to make sure those who should be driving your goals have the time and resources to do their jobs. Planning who should do what and for which projects is most important and will help your office focus its resources appropriately and achieve your goals more effectively.

How is your organization implementing effective and proactive plans? Chime in with a comment below.

–By Jack Spain

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