“CROs aren’t running your methods, they are running their interpretation of your methods.”
This comment, made to me by an accelerator group, rings true for many of us who have partnered with CROs. This observation might seem benign on its face — after all, why shouldn’t a CRO bring their experience to your methods? However, in reflecting on my previous experiences working with CROs, where I spent a lot of time managing relationships, strategy, and tactics, and became well acquainted with the benefits, challenges, and costs of those relationships, I’ve come to realize that third party interpretation of your methods lies at the heart of the many hidden costs associated with CROs. At first blush, these relationships look very straightforward: scope project, transfer materials, receive requested data/materials, rinse and repeat. However, these interactions are much more complicated (and expensive) than they may appear when you take a more complete and holistic look at the process.