I’m currently providing project management services for a medical device startup. We recently encountered a “roadblock” requiring we find additional resources to move forward. I was able to reconnect with several capable options within my network for possible solutions. Nearly each resource I spoke with wanted to start at the beginning, basically with a clean slate and blank sheet of paper.
The thing is, this medical device project doesn’t need to start with a clean slate. In fact it should NOT for a couple reasons:
- We’re developing a “me too” device. Yes, there are likely to be a few features and benefits which are unique to this product. But there is a ton of existing products in this space, including a couple identified as benchmarks.
- The project actually started a few months ago. While we haven’t gotten too far, we have made progress. Let’s leverage and use as much as this progress as possible.
- We have an aggressive yet realistic timeline to launch this device in 2013.
Thankfully, there were a couple potential resources who get it and want to minimize the research phase and get right into development. They realized and listened to what we were trying to say. We should make a final decision about the next resource(s) later this week. I assure you it will be those who we feel can pick up where we left off and help us get back on schedule as quickly as possible.
There are very few product development scenarios where you start with a clean slate and blank sheet of paper. Beg, borrow, and steal from other products and technologies. It’s very cliche, but don’t reinvent the wheel.