Synaptic Corporation

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Executive Summary
The Synaptic Corporation is a biotechnology company based out of San Diego, CA. The company develops drugs based on proteins and peptides. To date, one drug has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) but there are two other drugs that are currently in clinical trials. Synaptic is a fairly large company with 1,200 employees. The two main departments that are of issue are the Information Management (IM) and the Computational Biology department. There are no clear define roles and responsibilities of the Synaptic staff and there is a lack of leadership and organizational culture. Additionally, it is unsure exactly what Synapic’s organizational goals and objectives are. This paper will provide a situation analysis of Synaptic’s organizational problems and will also present recommendations on how to deal with these risks that plaque the company not only for the short term but for the long term as well. Situation Analysis

The Synaptic Corporation is faced with some internal challenges. It lacks a Management Plan that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of all positions and departments. There are cultural differences that exist among the Computational Biology and IM departments that have grown into communication and collaboration problems. The scientists value innovation, originality, and speed, preferring to work alone. The computer professionals are concerned with stability, business continuity, documentation, and long term planning. The IM director has complained that the scientists throw things together without consulting with the IM department and expect their actions to be compatible with the company’s IT architecture. There is no basic acceptance or understanding of the procedures and/or processes of either department. Additionally, there is lack of monitoring and control within the organization in terms of projects. The Computational Biology department feels that the IM Department’s development is too slow and demands for documentation and governance that they feel is bureaucratic and wasteful. Another example is when Steve Levitt branched out on his own in creating and storing key computational biology business processes, no one was able to influence Steve or his manager in having Steve document his computational process. It also appears that each department refuses to rely on the other, causing projects to be abandoned. For example, responsibilities at times do overlap between the IM and Computational Biology group. At times the Computational Biology group will initiate a project that requires the support of the IM department. Since the Computational Biology department did not coordinate with the IM department, they have no way of knowing if their ad-hoc (improvised) projects are even suited for the system. This is a clear example of not only poor communication but also poor collaboration among employees. The development of ad-hoc projects also exemplifies the nonexistence of Synaptic’s organizational goals and objectives. Responsibility and leadership are characteristics that no one seems to have at the Synaptic Corporation. When errors were found on the main database, following two months of investigating, the errors were traced back to Steve. Steve had experimented with the calculation, years prior, but he and his manager forgot and did not ever correct the calculations. The Director of IM Research not able to correct the problem because he did not understand Steve’s process and procedures. Clearly Steve did not know what his role and responsibilities were, including the Computational Biology Director, and his superior the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Once things went from bad to worse, someone had to take the blame and the Director of IM Research was fired, though he is not part of nor in charge of the Computational Biology Department. This displayed Steve’s lack of concern and loyalty to his Synaptic and his unwillingness to take...
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