Healthcare professional holding up test sample.

Increase collaboration in medtech cross-department projects

Departments in an organisation have different skills, unique ways of solving problems and increased pressure to deliver more with less.

Advancements in medtech or health technology are designed to provide exceptional healthcare for patients while also helping staff. But they are facing increasing challenges that prevent them from achieving the seamless service that they are aiming for. These challenges include limited resources with tight deadlines in an increasingly competitive market.

In medtech, delivering value to customers might even mean the difference between life and death.

Whether creating apps or real-world solutions, as a project portfolio lead or chief information officer, your role is to enhance the way departments work and communicate to ensure optimum efficiency.

Investing in strategic portfolio management (SPM) can be one such solution to future-proof operations and ensure greater levels of adaptability and transparency.

If you need help communicating the ‘why’ to key stakeholders, we’ve got you covered with various benefits. These demonstrate how the efficient management of cross-department delivery through SPM can be integral to the successful delivery of medtech project completion.

Where are the inefficiencies?

Before we delve into the benefits of adopting a new approach, let’s look at the common areas that create inefficiencies for medtech organisations in the UK.

Misaligned on project scope

As a project manager, your core job is to maintain a balance between the cost of the project, quality of the output, manpower engaged and the deadlines. In medtech, it’s critical to balance the requirements with risk assessments and ensure that your end product meets the standards and regulations that healthcare organisations must adhere to.

In addition to the scope, it is important that the priority of tasks, critical activities, task dependencies across departments, and the business impact of the project for the organisation be defined and shared across all stakeholders.

Departments are siloed

According to a report, around 79% of teams are siloed. When departments are all working on their own agenda and don’t communicate effectively with other departments, this can create misaligned goals and inefficiencies.

Departments using different software

The use of different software across the various departments in the medtech sector can present several challenges.

These include:

Compatibility issues
If separate departments work with varying file formats, data structures, or integration capabilities, this can lead to compatibility issues when departments need to share information or collaborate.

Communication barriers
Effective communication and collaboration may be hindered. Team members may find it difficult to share updates, progress, or changes seamlessly, leading to potential miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Data silos
When each discipline uses its own software, it can result in data silos where information is confined within specific departments or teams. This makes it challenging to have a unified view and impedes collaboration.

Increased learning curve
Team members may need to learn and adapt to multiple platforms, each with its own interface and features. This increased learning curve can consume valuable time and lead to inefficiencies.

Version control challenges
Managing versions of documents, designs, or project plans can become complex and could lead to confusion about which version is the most current or accurate.

Inefficient workflows
With each discipline following its own processes and workflows, it can become fragmented. This lack of alignment can impede the smooth progression of tasks and hinder overall departmental efficiency.

Security concerns
Security protocols may differ between software solutions, potentially exposing sensitive data to vulnerabilities. This can make it challenging to maintain a consistent and robust security framework that protects patient data in a meaningful way.

Cost implications
Licensing fees and maintenance costs associated with multiple systems can contribute to higher project expenses. Consolidating offers cost savings and streamlines budget management.

Why should you invest in strategic portfolio management for medtech?

Strategic portfolio management provides a single window of information for all your decision-makers, whichever department they work in. They can access the insights they need with a customised report dashboard.

Workflows and roadmaps can also be configured and adapted to suit how the various departments work. There may be a handful of steps that are different, but the rest may be adopted globally. This helps to ensure alignment and consistency while still ensuring that the individual departments still have the freedom to create a workflow that makes sense for their specific deliverables.

Single source of truth and enhanced communication

A single source of truth increases collaboration for cross-department projects by ensuring that all departments base their decisions on standardised, relevant data from across the entire organisation.

This concept is particularly crucial in data-driven fields such as health technology, where the quality and accuracy of data are paramount.

Organisations can eliminate duplicate entries of data, provide decision-makers with the right data at the right time, and substantially reduce the time spent on identifying which recorded data is correct.

This approach facilitates seamless collaboration, informed decision-making, and improved data integrity across various departments involved in health tech projects.

With a single source of truth, having limited or disparate communication problems will no longer be a challenge. Stakeholders and key decision-makers can access all the insights they need to ensure that the goals are being reached. It will also help to alleviate communication gaps.

Get an accurate picture

Broadcom interviewed a health tech company* that wanted to locate a single source to understand all their funding, forecasts and features without taking away valuable time from project work.

The challenge they faced included having over 3,000 systems and applications contributing to some products. Using so many systems meant that no one had a clear insight into what work was being completed or how much it was costing. With the parent company looking to spin them off as a separate business, having quick and accurate access to investment and cost management insights was critical for the company’s success.

With a leading SPM solution, they were able to get an accurate picture of the total cost of ownership of every product, as well as capture all the time spent on the initiatives and products.

That way, they were better able to track where money was being spent, and stakeholders were able to objectively review where to cut expenditures and where to invest more.

Improve decision-making

Combining insights from different disciplines enables better-informed decisions. In medtech, it is critical to ensure that products that have a high ROI are allocated for production. They need to offer a competitive enhancement, whether that’s delivering results faster, reducing time to diagnosis or reducing the cost of delivering healthcare in a department that is experiencing an increase in demand.

Strategic portfolio management helps medtech organisations with decision-making in several ways. It allows organisations to prioritise projects based on their potential impact, urgency, and alignment with organisational goals.

SPM also helps in identifying and managing risks associated with projects, ensuring that the most critical and impactful projects are given priority. Additionally, it facilitates collaboration, coordination, and effective allocation of resources, such as staff, funding, and equipment, to ensure that all projects contribute to providing a better outcome.

In the medtech industry, portfolio management is crucial for analysing the strategic importance of projects, improving effectiveness, growth, and revenue, and making evidence-based decisions relative to the services provided.

By using strategic portfolio management, organisations can bridge the gap between high-level strategic vision and implementation, manage and evaluate numerous projects, and integrate strategic plans into a prioritised portfolio of work.

Overall, SPM enables organisations to make informed decisions, manage risks, and ensure that their projects align with their organisational goals and contribute to long-term success.

Know when to intervene on a project

Project portfolio managers can decide which project is more important and what resources it should
require.

With so many moving parts and notifications coming through, it’s vital for project portfolio managers to know when to intervene. Project managers operate at the individual project level and will be more involved in the day-to-day operations and progress of the projects within their remit.

By having the right SPM solution, you can quickly see at a higher level which portfolios need attention and zoom in to see more detail as required.

Define and align goals

Having core goals, objectives and values helps create a compass point to work towards.

Facilitating a cross-department project or transformation requires close monitoring of portfolio progress and performance. This will help you track the project status, identify and resolve any issues or risks, and measure and report the project outcomes.

Avoiding divergent goals is critical. Your departments and teams, while they have different functions, are still working together for the same organisation and overarching purpose. Setting clear project charters that everyone can reference can help remove ambiguity or diverging ideas of what you’re working towards.

Taking note of the strict requirements of the end product is paramount for the success of a medtech product. All stakeholders and departments working on the project will need to have a clear understanding of the exact outcome and expectations that are required.

OKRs shouldn’t be restricted by initiatives. Instead, the end goals and outcomes should drive the projects.

Project delivery teams, business objective creators and OKR strategists need to line up initiatives and objectives. No department should operate as an island. The key is to make sure the separate departments talk and work together. All departments should be aware of the business OKRs and goals.

Outlining clear and realistic goals will include:

  • Identifying the target practitioners for the use of the product
  • Identifying who you want to be and what service you want to provide
  • Identifying environmental constraints
  • Assessing the risk profile

SPM provides enhanced visibility. Without it, you can’t see what is and isn’t contributing to the goals. No one can see what’s not linking up to the goals. But with SPM, decision-makers can quickly see the isolated work that isn’t adding value. It helps businesses objectively question the ‘why’ of all the work.

This provides traceability from strategy to execution. You can quickly identify projects that don’t relate to key results. Equally important, you can also identify which key results are not on target due to a lack of initiatives to help achieve them.

With the goals clearly defined at the top of the hierarchy, SPM lets you draw lines between the work and the goals. That way, you can see all the work that’s contributing and anything that’s not.

Ultimately, this identifies inefficiencies and wasted investment. From there, portfolio leads can open up the conversation about reinvesting in a way that aligns with the goals.

Agile multidisciplinary teams

You could also choose the agile approach of creating multidisciplinary teams. A lot of medtech project work will be product-led and require cross-functional teams. All work will be arranged around a product and will likely include some agile planning.

These teams typically include employees from various departments, such as portfolio managers, who are there to improve the way departments share information, and facilities or human resource managers and sales representatives. They act as representatives that encourage cross collaboration across the various departments that are required to get large scale project portfolios over the line.

By bringing together individuals with diverse expertise and perspectives, cross-functional teams can enhance innovation, problem-solving, and decision-making, ultimately leading to more efficient and effective outcomes.

By having a cross-department team allocation, you can better respond to challenges and avoid silos. It helps with the challenge of cross-collaboration. Improve coordination and cycle times for customer-facing touchpoints.

Agnostic methodology can work with more traditional and agile planning concepts and can allow for the management of cross-functional teams, roles and resources.

Find the right solution for your organisation

Contact the team at Ignite Technology to find out more about the solutions and consulting we provide for large-scale project management. Our strategic portfolio management solution experts can reduce time to implementation and facilitate organisation-wide transformations that enable greater levels of resilience and efficiency.

Sources:
*https://academy.broadcom.com/blog/valueops/health-device-maker-finds-remedy-in-clarity

Healthcare professional holding up test sample.

Increase collaboration in medtech cross-department projects

By Austen Moore

Marketing Manager

Responsible for managing Ignite Technology’s marketing initiatives, Austen uses market research and analysis to direct marketing strategy and planning. He oversees the production of all promotional materials and marketing campaigns. With over 20 years of experience managing a range of companies, Austen’s expertise centres around commercial management, enterprise content management, marketing, sales, project management and team leadership.