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Case Study

Planning Workshops Speed Up Next-Gen Medical Device Development

Even when a company is first to market with a groundbreaking medical device, product development doesn’t end. Medical staff, patients, and repair technicians—even payers—want it to be easier to use and maintain, to provide greater benefit, and/or to cost less. For their part, MedTech companies’ growth plans demand cost-effective production and advancements that keep it ahead of competitors.

Unexpected Urgency

For example, a small, fast-growing medical technology company had a first-generation product on the market. Nurses or techs operate the innovative device in medical facilities, and some patients can use it at home. To make it easy to use, the design was simple. But competition entered the market and patients’ options grew. The company needed to make the system easier to operate and service, add functionality, and reduce production costs. Plans already called for enhancing the device to deliver value-based care by 2030, but pressure to speed up improvement grew.

The complex set of objectives meant several development teams would be involved. The level of collaboration and aggressive timeline drove the company to hire Integrated Project Management Company, Inc. (IPM) to rapidly assess the situation and develop a plan that would achieve their goals.

Quick but Comprehensive Collaboration

IPM dispatched a team with MedTech product development, project management, and facilitation expertise. They quickly grasped the company strategy and objectives and assessed the working teams. IPM’s facilitator and product development expert led a series of intensive planning workshops to align the teams. Because the meetings were virtual due to pandemic restrictions, they used a variety of techniques and interactive tools to keep people engaged.

During the workshops, product development and engineering staff outlined requirements and opportunities. They also discussed processes, risks, and how the functions could work together. Between workshops, IPM met with each of the seven workstreams and key stakeholders to flesh out the details and plans.

Within about eight weeks, IPM developed a roadmap including staging and timing for the seven workstreams and interdependencies between them. A shared risk register was built to record risks, potential impact, and responsible parties to help them foresee and overcome problems.

Focused on the Future

IPM navigated a lot of complexity to establish a structure to make achieving the company’s aggressive goals a possibility. The cross-functional workshops, team deep-dives, and one-on-one interviews yielded a thorough plan to meet the company’s ambitious milestones. It has completed the concept testing and feasibility phase and is projecting that it will meet its target savings for production and ongoing service costs.

And thanks in part to IPM’s long-term plans, the company is well-prepared for the future. When complete, the device’s new open architecture technology will enable it to deliver value-based-care data and add new functions more easily.

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