This is the last newsletter before my summer break, yes 🌴 ! I hope you can read it in the office during a relaxing slow-down season or on the beach. I have been a digital nomad working from France for 2 weeks now (yes, even with 3 kids, you can do it 💪). I have enjoyed watching my kids build a treehouse daily with a different iteration. They construct, use, and improve or destroy if they dislike it.
They prototype constantly.
So today, I want to convince you that perfection is your enemy and that prototyping your life and work is the best way to enjoy it.
Here, you will get a step-by-step guide on rebuilding your prototyping mindset (and maybe do a treehouse, you will see this is fun 😉).
Get comfortable for your 5 minutes of sparks to hack.
✏ Perfection is our enemy in healthcare organizations
"If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." - Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn
Many of us are scientists or engineers (I am a pharmacist 😉). What we do matters for patients, healthcare providers, government. We talk about disease, death, and safety in our daily work. We handle a lot of confidential data.
So we focus on risk management, safety for patients and caregivers, and quality of products for healthcare professionals.
The product is when it interacts with patients and healthcare providers either in pre-clinical/ clinical phases or once launched.
Here, perfectionism is non-negotiable.
The path is how we will deliver better and faster services. It involves activities in Research and Development, Commercial, and all internal process and events. For example, designing a new digital health product, diagnostic strategy, or process.
Here, perfectionism is your enemy. It wastes your time, energy, and engagement with your teams.
Instead, focus on progress, where failure is allowed, within an agile mindset and iterative process.
So how do you instill this focus on progress? With a culture of prototyping that helps you to do small steps like the one below.
✏ Shift your focus from the "MVP" to the experiment
This is the most common mistake I witness "agile" life science teams make when developing new solutions. They design a MVP. They want to pilot, to build something.
But they are not clear on the WHY.
Instead of discussing the MVP to build, ask yourself what you want to learn. Prototypes goals are to help you learn faster "The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else." - Eric Ries, The Lean Startup.
You learn with experimentation. And because you work in life science this is easy: you design it exactly the same way you write a study protocol.
- What do you want to learn from the market or your organization? For example, aligning with your boss on a workshop output or prioritization with customers of the most important pain points to solve.
- Who will you talk to? (for example, a nurse, a C suite hospital director, a business development team from another company)? And how will you recruit them?
- What do you need to "build"? It could be a discussion guide for interviews, a theoretical pretotype or a MVP.
Prototypes goals are to help you learn faster "The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else." - Eric Ries, The Lean Startup.
✏ The 3 types of prototypes
I coached over 500 healthcare teams. I see so many organizations with the wrong view on prototyping and MVP (I look like that 😡 indeed). So I made my own classification. This is how I teach in Healthcare customer-centricity trainings or in the intrapreneurship journey expedition. Let me know how it resonats with you.
👆This is why you need to prototype!
You have three types of prototypes: theoretical pretotypes, working pretotypes, and MVP.
1 - Theoretical pretotypes (it is not a typo ❌ here, it is a terminology from Alberto Savoia). It is a non-functional version of your product like mock-ups or theoretical products. They don't help your customer to achieve their goals (their jobs to be done), but help you to learn.
2 - Working pretotypes, are functional products that help your customer do their job. At this stage, you still don't have a working product, so you leverage and combine existing alternatives.
3 - Minimum viable product (MVP) - working prototype. It is the first functional version of your product. It helps your customer achieve at least one of his/her gaol. It is not yet the full version of your service.
So now, how do we put that into your context?
✏ Clarify when you can prototype (or not)
I trust you can distinguish the situation where you should embrace prototyping, unlike my older son, who built a prototype rocket with a bottle and old firecracker powder in my kitchen (😱 yes we talked about fire risks..).
✏ Identify which type of prototypes you could try
I have selected simple ways you can start to prototype in your work with theoretical prototypes.
For a workshop design on team building or next year's strategy: sketch on paper the outcomes and align with your boss or co- lead or vendor. I love to do it with my clients ( 😂 and see their faces like - "do you really mean I need to sketch" ?).
For a digital health app interface to test the usability and functionality. A clickable prototype visualizes a digital application's user interface that allows users to interact with it. This requires no code writing skills and transforms a mockup into interactive, online theoretical prototype.
A video on your product or service before this exists. When I recorded this video for the landing page of the Bambooster Academy, the product was not ready. I only had a vision and ideas on the value proposition we bring to corporate teams and startups (the video is still here but I will change it soon 🤫).
This is a powerful theoretical pretotype. Now with software like Loom, it takes 5 mins to do it. The longest part is the visuals you want to use and the pitch.
✏ Shift the focus from MVP to a minimum lovable product
Once you have prototype with theoretical and working pretotypes, you can consider your MVP. But MVP leads to customer frustration and team misalignment.
Here is a better alternative that Amazon has adopted. Change just one letter. From MVP to MLP (Minimum Lovable Product). In his 2021 letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said, “Define a minimally lovable product (MLP) and be willing to iterate fast.”
An MLP is a version of a product or service with just enough features to create an emotional connection with users and ensure a memorable experience. Unlike a Minimal viable Product (MVP), which focuses on minimal functionality to test an idea, MLPs are about delighting users from day one by helping them achieve their goals, at least one.
Minimum Lovable Products ensure that teams focus on “will customers want it” rather than “will it work”. It focuses on customer satisfaction and avoids frustration.
It ensures customer centricity.
Hit reply to let me know if you liked this edition or if you tried these tips. I respond to every person who writes to me!
See you in two weeks. Keep the spark alive, and be intentional :)