How it all began
Shortly after the LockDown in March 2020, a pharmacist with an affinity for digitalization approached us to present his concept:
The Corona virus not only presents pharmacies with new challenges in the pharmaceutical sector, but also obliges owners and branch managers to document and regularly review the measures implemented in the pharmacies with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of this are: The installation of Plexiglas walls or the instruction of employees and messengers. If documentation is lacking, not only the consequences under professional law and problems with occupational safety and health threaten. In the case of COVID-19 suspected cases, proper documentation can also convince the pharmacist and especially the public health department to leave the company undisturbed with regard to official regulations.
In order to be able to meet these annoying but necessary obligations quickly and easily, the pharmacist had developed the idea of a web-based platform (www.corona-doku.de) for handling these processes.
We found the idea and the concept very exciting and decided to tackle the project despite some challenges. Because the targets were extremely ambitious. Since the topic was of course very urgent due to the current pandemic situation and the pharmacists needed quick support, the process from the abstract product idea to the final go-to-market of the digital service was to be completed in only 8 weeks.
A further challenge was the fact that the expertise of various external and internal project participants had to be bundled in order to realize the project. As process owner, alphasystems was commissioned with the agile project management, process design and implementation.
What? WHEN? FROM WHOM?
The core question that arose at that moment was as simple as it was complex:
How can we successfully launch an innovative digital product with a new market segment and new target groups in just 8 weeks?
The goal was defined, everything else was open. There was no concept, no defined feature catalog, no UI specification, not even a logo.
In the first step, we identified and defined all the relevant parameters in order to set up the process systematically. In the end, 6 different competence centers were involved in the project. The stakeholder team consisted of the client’s board and departments, lawyers, as well as developers, administrators, designers and project managers.
Crucial in this phase was the identification and definition of fields of action, time frames, requirements, possible sub-projects (e.g. logo creation), stakeholders, competencies, as well as the roles and functions of the individual participants.
The objective was to create a systematic process design in order to ensure the most agile and, above all, result-reliable interaction of the various heterogeneous participants – while at the same time meeting the time and content requirements.
Based on our analysis, we subsequently set up a comprehensive and above all agile process design – because we wanted to be as agile as possible not only in development but also in project management.
This planning and control framework took into account all tasks, roles, dependencies and milestones in the fields of action: digital product development, brand, marketing campaign, test procedures, content review and of course the go-to-market.
During the definition of the control and process tasks, it quickly became clear that a successful product launch could only be achieved on the basis of an MVP development.
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach originally comes from Lean Management. Here, a procedure is chosen with which we approach the scope of performance of the target product piece by piece. Expenses based on assumptions and estimates of features and functions should be avoided for the time being. Thus, an MVP only has the amount of functions that is just necessary to generate a central benefit for the future users. It is therefore a first, minimal, but functional version of a product with the goal of collecting feedback from the first customers and experience values and thus further developing the product.