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Program Management – Scaling a Product

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We recently consulted with a company (ManoTech) that needed some help with a Telehealth product. The product was already built, and they asked us to come in and help them scale it. On arrival, we noted they only had one customer (Ablehealth). So, the key to success was understanding the engagement with that customer before we scale and risk minor issues becoming big problems.

We found that the product had some serious shortcomings, and it wasn’t utilized the way ManoTech’s management had imagined. Ablehealth’s staff were very skeptical of the product and the management threatened to end the contract.

Our Program Management team engaged with Ablehealth and conducted an onsite analysis of the situation.

There we three main shortcomings we found:

  1. The product was failing while in use with Ablehealth’s staff. They could not connect from the office to their patients. A report showed over 50% of calls were unable to connect.
  2. The product was failing to stay online. Of the 400+ installations, only 250 were in the system, and only 80 were online at any given time.
  3. Ablehealth’s staff were not using the product regularly; in their words, it was “not being utilized.”

We worked with Manotech and Ablehealth for over nine months to investigate. We sort accurate data from as close to the source as possible to find the root causes of this situation.

Firstly we investigated how the devices were being installed at the patient’s homes.

  1. We found that the installations were being done very poorly, by part-time, untrained, and inexperienced young contractors.
  2. They incorrectly installed the Remote Charger, which overloaded the ManoTech device electronics, causing failed calls and offline status.
  3. They incorrectly installed the device without the Splitter in cases where it was needed. The Splitter was there to overcome a design flaw and required that the HDMI2 from many set-top boxes at patients’ homes was not compatible with HDMI1 input on ManoTech’s device.
  4. They connected to a 2nd HDMI input into the TV, confusing the patients.
  5. They were not training the patients sufficiently, making them confused and uninterested in using ManoTech’s device.

To correct this, we employed a new full-time installer that we fully trained and overcame all these installation issues.

Next, we surveyed the installations and found that only 120 devices (of the 400) were installed in clients’ homes. That left 130 in the system unaccounted for. We set about recalling, reassigning, and repairing the boxes.

Finally, we engaged Ablehealth on their terms. Having our team and the new installer visit Ablehealth’s sites (there were four sites) at least every week. While there, the installer would do in-person training and engage directly with the issues raised by Ablehealth’s staff.

The outcome of our engagement was:

  1. Installations were completed to a new high-quality standard; Ablehealth’s patients appreciated the product and were willing to use it.
  2. The ManoTech’s development team was now aware of the technical issues, made multiple updates with good results, and undertook to develop new, more robust hardware.
  3. ManoTech’s product became more stable, more used and appreciated by Ablehealth’s staff and their patients.
  4. Ablehealth management reengaged and began making operational changes, including lobbying for its use at the biannual patient reviews and to their top management.

This set up our client, Manotech with good prospects to install more Telehealth equipment and continue the contract with Ablehealth. From this solid basis they could win more clients and scale the product successfully.productlifecycle

Pete Cooper is a CEO and Program Manager with 20+ years of diverse experience as a Program Manager and eight years as a CEO. His career started as a design engineer and grew to the executive level. He has worked in various fields, including Software Development, AI/ML, Product Design Aviation, App development, RF design, Electronics Design, Mechanical Design, Telehealth, Semiconductors, IoT, and more.

Pete is a thought leader in applying Program Management methodology as a CEO. He has received recognition for overseeing complicated projects in various sectors. He holds an Engineering Degree, MBA, an Airline Pilot’s Licence, and multiple Program Management Certifications, including FAIPM.

At Skillion, where Pete is the CEO, we pride ourselves on our ability to implement and educate Program Management woven into our customer projects. If you need more than a technical solution managed end to end, don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more.

info@skillion.tech 

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