We’ve all seen it on television: a careful, methodical turtle taking one cautious step at a time. Very. Slowly. Meanwhile, a rabbit nearby is rushing, then maybe napping, but always losing the race. We might cheer for the turtle or the rabbit, but we all know who wins in the end. The turtle, of course.
Turtles make slow and deliberate steps. Such turtle steps are exactly what is necessary for the MedTech industry to get a well-functioning, cleared device to market. Basically, to “win”. Such deliberate action is necessary for MedTech to provide real change and innovation to the world.
Why Turtle Steps Matter
It’s not fun to wait. In business culture, we’re trained to hurry. We must rush to complete a job, rush for a return on investment. Culture drives us. However, slowing down and expecting quality work to take time is essential in the medical device industry. It takes time to get a medical device to market, to global markets even. It’s not a “one year” and done. Rushing or expecting the process to be quick actually slows the overall process down even more.
Rushing Wastes Time
Making crucial mistakes in the design or manufacturing process costs more time—and money—correcting those mistakes. As such, rushing wastes time instead of saving it. Instead, allow your quality management system to help create a sound strategy that will deliver well-functioning devices en masse. Such effective quality management does require more time on the front end. But once established, a smooth running system is in place and helps on the back end, during scaling up and full commercialization. There’s a smart, short term wait that supports and delivers the long term goals.
Communication Becomes Fractured
Teams that are encouraged to rush (or just hurry) cannot communicate clearly (again costing more time). Clear communication is essential to any project’s on-time and on-budget finish. (link). When our teams rush, they send haphazard communications via email or in a communication platform but often without including the key players to make good decisions possible. A carefully constructed communication plan (within and supporting your project plan) saves time later. Again, you must make such plans at the beginning, taking time that requires a short term wait but produces long term success.
The medical device industry continues to grow in importance and value through innovative and life saving devices. While business drivers run this industry (return on investment and commercialization goals) the product development process mustn’t be rushed. Rush jobs cost money and struggle through critical errors. Rushing wastes valuable time. Taking time to plan, communicate, and create a sound quality system from the start saves time and money in the overall race.