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Can you describe what an MSL Center of Excellence consists of?

Basically, it is a centralized, cross-functional team or organization that is dedicated to supporting the onboarding, training, development and “tool kit” for MSLs. The key element is that the objectives and deliverables of this organization are focused on the MSL function, which means that what they produce is tailor made for MSLs.

What are the advantages of having an MSL center of excellence?

From the MSLs and managers perspective, it means you have access to customized resources and support to help you in your day to day job, as well as ongoing career development. It also means there is an accountable group within the organization with whom to flag issues and make requests to so that your needs can be directly addressed.

From a company perspective, there are obvious operational benefits in having a centralized function which leads to greater efficiency, consistency and (once established) cost savings.

What are some recommendations to those organization considering establishing an MSL center of excellence?

At a minimum, you need to identify the key areas which you want to focus resources on and support e.g. training, tools and governance… To be a true CoE you must have clearly defined standards and a definition/vision of what “Excellence” looks like. Hiring people who have done the job i.e. who are or have been MSLs or MSL managers in the field is also a critical element of success.

What are the biggest challenges of establishing an MSL center of excellence?

Getting the initial buy-in from the cross-functional leadership team to provide resource to create the CoE is one of the bigger challenges – especially in very large organizations. For this you need to have a leadership team who understands the value of the MSL role as inherently as those of us who do or have done the role.

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