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Altea Therapeutics

A

Interviewee

27 Practice Person; Designer

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

0, 3

Project Outcome

Successful

Industry

Medical

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

Medium

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_FunandProductive

Company

Altea Therapeutics


But the problem is, and this is common with a lot of our clients, is there's a technology, but they need to figure out how to bring it in to make it useful for the stakeholders. So there's all the scientists, but they're not usually the best ones to figure out how to make it usable. [2004]
So there's all the scientists, but they're not usually the best ones to figure out how to make it usable. [2036]
So what we ended up doing was we worked very closely with the client to understand the technology, and in that case, they were looking at pain medication, so people who were in severe chronic pain. We went out to people and we talked to people that had severe arthritis pain or severe back pain or pain related to cancer, that's a very common one too, and understand what their needs were. We went as a team, and you know, that's something that we usually, we try to do is that the entire team goes out and does this stuff, not just dedicated human factors folks. [2006],[2007],[2005]
We went as a team, and you know, that's something that we usually, we try to do is that the entire team goes out and does this stuff, not just dedicated human factors folks. [2037]
Also, the client often comes on some of these observations too. I think having good client collaboration is every bit as important as good internal team collaboration, partly because they see the same things that we saw, so it's easy for them to understand why the idea we have is good because they've seen the need with their own eyes [2010]
Also, the client often comes on some of these observations too. I think having good client collaboration is every bit as important as good internal team collaboration, partly because they see the same things that we saw, so it's easy for them to understand why the idea we have is good because they've seen the need with their own eyes. [2008],[2009]
But, we had a very tight team. We had an engineer, a human factors person, and an industrial designer. That's a very common makeup of a team for a device, 'cause in this case we were- [2012],[2011]
But anyway, I think the reason that was successful was because we had very deep collaboration with our client. Unfortunately it was only with one person on the client team, so we had a lot of ... When we went to meetings at the client, we often had a lot of resistance to the ideas that we had, just because he didn't have quite the power in the organization. But we recognized that and we designed our presentations and interactions with them so that we could ... they'd feel like they're part of the process and so they'd understand why we did things the way we did them. [2019],[2014],[2013]
But we recognized that and we designed our presentations and interactions with them so that we could ... they'd feel like they're part of the process and so they'd understand why we did things the way we did them. [2041],[2043],[2040],[2039],[2038],[2042]
Unfortunately it was only with one person on the client team, so we had a lot of ... When we went to meetings at the client, we often had a lot of resistance to the ideas that we had, just because he didn't have quite the power in the organization. But we recognized that and we designed our presentations and interactions with them so that we could ... they'd feel like they're part of the process and so they'd understand why we did things the way we did them. [2015]
When we went to meetings at the client, we often had a lot of resistance to the ideas that we had, just because he didn't have quite the power in the organization. But we recognized that and we designed our presentations and interactions with them so that we could ... they'd feel like they're part of the process and so they'd understand why we did things the way we did them. [2017],[2016],[2018]
The CEO was also a big fan of ours, so it was a little bit easier there. I think that's another thing that makes something successful. [2020]
middle can always be a problem because they are sometimes the most resistant because they have the most invested in the company in the way they've been doing things in the past. [2044]
Yeah, buy in from the top. But buy in from the top alone is usually not enough. You also need support at the bottom. You have that and then the middle can always be a problem because they are sometimes the most resistant because they have the most invested in the company in the way they've been doing things in the past. [2021]
So, I think the other thing that made it successful, and I think it's true of a lot of things, when we tested these things and we had concepts, they weren't all like, we have a good idea and we're gonna have three variations of that good idea. We're gonna have four very clearly different directions. And even if it's like, you know, we don't think that one's gonna test well, but we can learn a lot from why it didn't test well and what people's reactions were- [2023],[2022]
successful, and I think it's true of a lot of things, when we tested these things and we had concepts, they weren't all like, we have a good idea and we're gonna have three variations of that good idea. We're gonna have four very clearly different directions. And even if it's like, you know, we don't think that one's gonna test well, but we can learn a lot from why it didn't test well and what people's reactions were- [2045]
... because oftentimes, we guess wrong. It's like, we think that somebody's gonna think this about something, and then you see somebody with severely arthritic hands and it's like, well yeah, but this one behaves differently than we expected. So it's always good to get a lot of different things out there so you can learn a lot so that in your final thing you design, incorporates all that learning. [2025],[2024]
And usually, it's a lot easier working with startups because they can make decisions much quicker- [2026]
Teams are pretty darn autonomous [2046],[2047]
Yeah, it's kind of a weird question because teams are very autonomous here. It's not like we have to come up with something and then get it approved through something. Teams are pretty darn autonomous. There will be the practice person who's working with them, you know, like me, and then there'll be the team, and they're working closely enough that it's not like you run it by anybody, it's just part of the process. [2027],[2028]
I would say it was moderate. I mean, their engineers were very risk-averse, their CEO was very risk tolerant. So it came somewhere in between, so probably medium. [2048],[2029]
Strangely enough, budget wasn't that bad. [2030]
Yeah, it wasn't bad. Time, no, not really, because clients are usually quite a bit slower than we are. So sometimes there's a real time constraint 'cause there's a show or something. If the client's not feeding into the project where we're kind of working independently, there's oftentimes a lot more time pressure. [2031]
But in this case, they were developing the drug and the delivery technology in parallel, so we were going way faster than they were, so there really wasn't a whole lot of time pressure with it. [2032]
Originally, the client said, "Oh yeah, we want all these indicators and be able to tell them air codes and whatever this stuff," and it's like, no. [2049]
So having some help in terms of ... But he was responsible for manufacturing, and he knew nothing about it. He was a really smart guy, but he knew nothing about it, so there were a lot of different things I would help him out on, just kind of advice and stuff. So we had a great relationship. [2033]
Well, and it's also very ... From talking to these folks, just understanding the political realities of what's going on, the funding realities, just the whole politics of NGOs and the government and the whole process of delivering healthcare is so, so different- [2034]
We want to design the whole system rather than design the device. And that's a common thread through all the work we do. [2035]
Reference Tags
[2004] Great example - IDEO's Methods,[2036] Anecdotal fallacy,[2006] Empathetic disposition,[2007] Listening disposition,[2005] Organizing effectively,[2037] Organizing effectively,[2010] Great example - Productive innovation norms,[2008] Communicating ideas across domains,[2009] Organizing effectively,[2012] Great example - IDEO's Methods,[2011] Organizing effectively,[2019] Communicating ideas across domains,[2014] Great example - Productive innovation norms,[2013] Trust,[2041] Believes one has a hopeful path,[2043] Believes one has high agency,[2040] Communicating ideas across domains,[2039] Empathetic disposition,[2038] Resilience,[2042] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2015] Believes one has a hopeful path,[2017] Insufficient Feedback,[2016] Premature idea evaluation,[2018] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2020] Organizational encouragement,[2044] Conservatism,[2021] Organizational encouragement,[2023] Great example - IDEO's Methods,[2022] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2045] Effort justification,[2025] Great example - IDEO's Methods,[2024] Win-win conflict about ideas,[2026] Decisive leadership,[2046] Organizational encouragement,[2047] Promote autonomy & sense of ownership,[2027] Organizational encouragement,[2028] Promote autonomy & sense of ownership,[2048] Risk compensation,[2029] Trust,[2030] Appropriate resources,[2031] Balanced workload pressure,[2032] Balanced workload pressure,[2049] Alignment,[2033] Inexperience,[2034] Great example - Individual & Team outcomes for future efforts,[2035] Great example - IDEO's Methods

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