One of the newest additions to our startup team is Anagha Suchitra! Originally from India, Anagha is a former software engineer and recent Masters in Engineering Management graduate from Duke University. She found her passion to be at the intersection of technology, business and people - i.e. ‘Product Management’. Healthcare appealed to her as the right arena to make a significant impact on people’s lives and that is what brought her to Higgs Boson. Here she has been adept at deriving critical insights on the product performance and strives to use this data to enable a better experience for healthcare providers and patients alike. Down the lane, she hopes to be a product leader building innovative and useful products to make the world a better place. Below is an great piece Anagha recently composed compiling her experiences as a Product Experience Consultant at Higgs Boson Health into a succinct list of 7 lessons she’s learned so far — see below for a fun read!
I have been working with a health startup Higgs Boson Health for some time now and it has been a joy ride so far - being the 'product' person, collaborating with medical experts,and delving into the healthcare space. These are the seven most important lessons I learned and want to share with you PM aficionados.
1. Keep it Simple, Silly!
The company had a lot going on at one point - new behavioral trends emerging, new gigs to market our product, new client opportunities, requests to customize features. All these needed attention, but we had to be careful to: 1) not to lose out on the low-hanging fruits that called for timely action and 2) not to create complete chaos. It got became very important to:
- Cut-down, prioritize, focus and create an action plan on items crucial to get game going.
- Document the good ideas/opportunities that are important but not urgent in case we need to get back to it!
- Balance out the workload in the team so that no resource is overloaded and everyone can give their undivided attention to the task at hand.
Doing this gave us time to focus on the present things, deliver the intended value and strategize on the tasks in pipeline.
2. Empathize with the Customer.
We were deciding on the touch point to introduce our app to patient, which ideally would be the earliest stage of their surgical journey. However, it was immediately evident that this was not to be the case. The patient might have just got to know of their condition and need for a complicated surgery and we would not want to overwhelm the patient by talking about how awesome our app is. Even in terms of how many tasks and notifications need to be sent throughout the surgical journey - a patient already has a lot going with the surgery and we decided to have a clean balance between value addition and information overload.
The app needs to be useful and a friend at each stage of the patient's journey and not another piece of technology to be dealt with.
3. Constantly Keep a Lookout for Product Performance.
To evaluate our performance at pilot sites, I took the product data collected and created visualisation reports. This helped us uncover a lot of insights: our app had helped reduce no-shows and increased patient prep quality significantly. We also identified the procedure that drove engagement as well as an area (patient outcomes collection) that needed attention. It was critical for these insights to be identified at the right instant so that we could take the timely action. Never lose sight of how is your product is doing in the market.
Is it working as expected? Is something doing really well? Is something pulling it down?Keep your eyes on the positives and the negatives - both of them!
4. Get Ready to Take the Call – It’s Your Product!
You are the captain (no pun intended) of this ship! Get ready to be held under fire and attacked, so to speak, with questions left, and right, and center. For the Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) app feature, I worked closely meticulously to include on getting the latest content in the app. I tested the PRO experience as soon as it was deployed, made observations and sent them back to the dev team to incorporate the changes. Thus when it came to the D-Day (client demo day), I was well-prepared to take in any and all questions related to its functioning. This helped us make important decisions and have a very productive demo.
Test, critique and drill your product. Never stop doing that!
5. Become Best Buds with Your Development, Design, and Data Team.
On one occasion, due to a personnel change, we were handed a file with apparently the latest revision and had to rack our brains on what the file meant. We started looking up searching through email chains and Dropbox folders to find details on this piece. However, once the development team heard of this, they volunteered to look up the file on their codebase, compare this revised content with latest one, and figured out the context and changes. This helped us speed up the process and quickly proceed to the next step. They didn't have to do this, but they did.
The trust you build with the team is crucial to drive the product forward. Aren't you lucky to have a team that has your back?
6. Train Your Customers Well (B2B) to Use Your Product.
Our product has a mobile app for the patient side and a web-portal for physicians and/or medical device representatives. For the latter, integrating our product into their day-to-day patient care activities is a change. Hence, we readied materials, held full-fledged training sessions,and equipped them to use the product in a smooth and effortless manner.
As intuitive as the product is to use, it is important for us to make this change a seamless experience. And ‘Oh boy!’ (read in Mickey’s voice) did our efforts pay off!
7. Appreciate the Joys and Anxieties of Usability Testing
There is nothing more joyous and crucial than watching customers actually use the product, also known as 'usability testing'. It’s important to test them in their natural setting –
be careful not to nudge them in any direction, but, at the same time, clearly communicate the set of tasks to be performed. When your product users are patients, this is even more imperative.
Closely observe their change in emotions, and thought processes as they perform various workflows - you would be surprised by the insights you gather!
And that's a wrap! My product management journey has been off to a great start, and I look forward to many more lessons to be learned. Hope you all enjoyed the read - feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org
to share your experiences or other lessons that you have learned along the way, and be on the lookout for future posts. Cheers!