A woman smiles at the camera against a blue background showing DNA.
Kim Sweeney. Image: Accenture/Alex/Stock.adobe.com

How this consultant is helping life sciences companies adapt

17 Nov 2022

Accenture’s Kim Sweeney explains what a day is like in her role and how she helps manage change for her life sciences clients.

Click to read more stories from Future Health Week.

Many of those working towards the future of health are involved in the pharma, research and innovation side of things.

However, looking at the companies helping to shape the future of health and who they’re hiring for, the sector also requires plenty of IT professionals, software engineers, analysts and other experts to bring these innovations to a more digital world.

Even outside of those roles, there are plenty of other professionals involved in the life sciences industry who work towards future-proofing the way it works and making the sector as a whole more adaptable.

That’s where people like Kim Sweeney come in. She is a change management manager in the life sciences practice at Accenture Ireland.

Her role involves working with clients across the world to develop and execute change management plans in order to help them prepare their employees for changes in the way they work and in the implementation of new systems.

“Outside of my client work, I am also involved in building our employee community within Accenture’s life sciences team in Ireland, which I am really passionate about,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.

‘Managing change correctly is key to ensure adoption among employees’

What types of projects do you work on?

I am currently working on a laboratory system implementation project with a global pharmaceutical company.

When I first joined Accenture, I spent four weeks in Florida completing scientific informatic systems training.

This training has been really valuable as I now understand the systems we are implementing and the impact they will have on the people using them.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

Communication is the number one skill in my role. Stakeholder management and relationship building are also very important as we manage a lot of relationships across our client organisations.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

Being on a global team is fantastic as you get to learn about different cultures and work with a diverse team.

The different time zones can be challenging, so you do have to work cleverly and be conscious of staggering work and meetings in line with what’s most suitable for clients’ time zones.

I start my day working with my clients in Asia and finish my day working with my clients on the west coast of America.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

I’m quite an organised person and love to make lists and tick items off throughout the day.  I have a daily 20-minute stand-up call with my team in the morning where we reflect on the day before and plan for the day ahead.

That way we help each other focus on the work we need to get done and can offer support where needed. Being open and transparent helps everyone be productive and bring their best selves to work and I find this daily call sets us all up for success.

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

I learned the importance of utilising all the connections you have across your network.

Accenture has so many experts across the globe and in my experience everyone across Accenture globally is willing to help you if you have a question or need guidance on a specific topic.

How has this role changed as the life science sector has grown and evolved?

Our life sciences clients are currently experiencing a high degree of change as they strive to become more digital and are realising more and more that they must embed change management as a core part of their transformation strategies.

Managing change correctly is key to ensure adoption among employees. Establishing a positive and transparent change culture in an organisation is key to success and is a catalyst for future improvements.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

The best thing for me is the people I get to work alongside from both Accenture and my clients.

Every day is different, and I have been given the opportunity to grow my career in the direction I want and I am very grateful for that.

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