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    How to: reduce friction within your MLR team

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    Collaboration is a common promotional review process challenge. Your team is navigating how to manage different work styles, communication styles, personality styles… challenges that are exacerbated if you’re working within a distributed or remote work environment. More specifically, it’s no secret that marketing and regulatory teams struggle to see eye to eye when it comes to MLR review. These struggles can lead to increased review cycles, churn, and frustration. The best way to reduce the friction? Here are four strategies to get you started.

    Understand roles and responsibilities

    We have written about the importance of roles and responsibilities before, and for good reason: identifying roles and responsibilities within the MLR process is essential for efficiency and collaboration. By knowing who should review what, and when, collaborators are clear on their review purview and know who to go to for questions. Keep your team accountable by publicly documenting roles and responsibilities so everyone is on the same page.

    Develop shared goals

    Optimal collaboration comes from shared understanding. When your teams are striving toward the same goal, it is easier to resolve conflict and disagreements. Take time to assess your MLR process and, as a team, decide: What is our shared goal for the MLR process? Some teams may choose to focus on first pass acceptance; others may focus of reducing review cycles. Whatever your shared goal is, make it achievable, measurable, and report on progress.

    Define and share understanding of “risk tolerance”

    “Risk tolerance” can mean different things to your marketing, legal, and regulatory team members. So, the question becomes: Do we understand “risk” to mean the same thing? Consider how any difference in opinion could impact your process and review cycles. Work with your regulatory team members to ensure everyone understands the regulations at play and use material classification to determine the review rigor required based on your SOPs.

    Include regulatory as early collaborators

    Often, qualms between marketing and regulatory could have been circumvented had your regulatory team members been informed or consulted earlier in the content creation process. Instead of waiting until a new material is downstream in MLR review to inform and consult regulatory, invite them to be a part of the creation process–especially if your team is trying something new or pushing boundaries. Including regulatory as early collaborators solidifies the concept of shared goals, and can help move materials efficiently through review.

    Looking for more MLR best practices? Read our post on strategies for overcoming common MLR review challenges.

    Annalise Ludtke

    Senior Manager, Marketing Communications at Vodori

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