It’s not uncommon to hear people in the Medtech industry express a growing sense of frustration and helplessness with the number of projects they are juggling at any one time. I’ve personally witnessed or heard of mid/large medtech divisions have over 60 projects in various forms of development on the docket at any single time. How did things get so crazy?
Here are some likely contributing factors:
Working on multiple projects at the same time is a great way to drive yourself crazy. That is, unless you have ADD and actually need or enjoy this type of scenario. Its also a very effective way of diluting focus, compromising quality and, eventually, demoralizing an organization. What many don’t realize is that working on multiple projects often creates the incentive to switch focus to other work when you encounter major obstacles on top a priority project. Your ability and desire to “outsmart” the critical obstacle is reduced when you have other secondary projects you can fall back on. Incidentally, this may be a major reason why more single-minded & focused startups are more effective at innovation and time-to-market.
Meanwhile, saying no to new projects is extremely hard. Especially if you are new in your role, if you are the type who likes to please people, if you are ambitious or if you are not likely to be held accountable for the resulting backlog.
So what can be done about the plague of too many projects?
The debate about too many projects certainly isn’t new and it isn’t exclusive to Medtech. Yet the pace of work and frequency of new demands & projects seems to be expanding wildly. Part of me believes that this is what happens when rapidly evolving technology, Wall Street pressure and rising consumer tech expectations collude to create a sense that we can take on more projects and do everything faster. The phrase “It’s just software!” comes to mind. Yeah, well software in medtech certainly isn’t the same as software for your Playstation. Time for the industry to come to terms with the project deluge and accept that less really can be more. Now more than ever.
As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments and emotional outbursts!
Andrew Hyncik is an International Strategic Marketing & Product Development leader with 20 years of experience in the MedTech, Healthcare and Pharma industries. For more Medtech insights, news and articles from Andrew, visit MedtechMojo
Andrew Hyncik and Pascal Malengrez are International Strategic Marketing & Product Development leaders who amplify classical medtech marketing with digital startup thinking.