AstraZeneca: Fighting a global pandemic


Under intense pressure during the global pandemic, AstraZeneca met the global need for Covid-19 vaccines by leveraging PMI standards.

AstraZeneca partnered with the University of Oxford to address the vaccine problem; this work included managing clinical trials while simultaneously ramping up manufacturing capacity. As customers were mainly governments seeking to immunize their populations, each government brought its own regulatory requirements and compliance framework challenges.  

The AstraZeneca team put in place the project management infrastructure necessary to address some of the complex challenges including finding experienced vaccine development internal project managers; implementing project management processes to develop the vaccine at great speed; and establishing an internal government contracting organization that could support the project.

One of the key foundations of the project management infrastructure was the rapid setup of the R&D division’s first PMO office using insight from PMI’s flagship publication, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

As of July 2021, AstraZeneca has released 1 billion doses for supply to 170 countries.

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