Strategies of Collaborative Co-Development Success

 

Engineer_CollaborationJust as an orchestra conductor melds different instruments, pitches, and tones into one harmonious symphony, the successful development of a complex medical instrument is no different. KMC Systems, a contract instrument development and manufacturing company, takes a look into what makes for a notable partnership; the upmost collaboration between respective teams.

Co-development projects task the coordination of large groups of talented engineers, assay developers, and support personnel to guide the development activity. Collaborative, co-development programs are led by experienced program managers, respective core team leaders, and senior management from both companies. Ultimately, it is the people coming together that make co-development projects viable. 

To be successful is to become a team of teams in a very short time.

Facilitating close coordination is essential, with teams meeting regularly to review progress. If the organization’s engineers are able to spend time working on-site, it enables how each team can contribute, to become aware who the subject matter experts are in each organization and to build the relationships that are needed.

Collaborating to develop core technologies that will be implemented into the final system architecture, while utilizing prototype lab space, allows the respective teams to test early modules in order to confirm technical performance. Working closely with technical teams, one can prepare high level instrument concepts and iterate those concepts based on the organization’s feedback and results from throughput simulation models to achieve an optimum balance of size, cost, and complexity. During the design phase, it is crucial for engineering resources to be heavily involved in design reviews and design decisions. Open communication between team members allows for rapid design decisions. Quick decision making is of the upmost importance when trying to reduce project schedule time to complete instrument development.

Senior management involvement and a mutual commitment to regularly scheduled reviews are critical to helping remove any roadblocks that team members may encounter. These reviews may be technical, resource, financial, or market requirements in nature. But in each case, alignment at the most senior levels of management within the team ensures all members are playing from the same song book.

In a short time, the respective organizations are aligned to one collective team working on a product that can provide many benefits with its capabilities. This is what motivates engineers, the will of the collective team to make the project successful, to be able to rise to the challenge and make it happen. This is the fuel that drives the engine; to achieve success.

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Topics: medical device development