My work as a Technical Product Manager for a dental practice management software line has really put me in some unique situations. These applications have been around since the early nineties. One, in particular, is still one of the major players in the growing DPMS business, with about 6500 offices. Some desperately looking for reasons to stay.
The next versions needed to be awesome…
The application had been a bit neglected with a slow-release schedule and no real functionality updates. Customers were not happy, and attrition rates were climbing!
Current Software Issues
- The company was viewed as not caring about software
- Attrition rate climbing
- No new features
- Dated interface
- Bugs in the software for a long time
New Business Objectives:
- Reduce attrition rates by:
- Introducing new features
- Fix common headaches
- Update the interface
- Fix long-standing bugs
- Spread the word on the new investment into software!
During this time, the Product Line Manager left the company, and I stepped into several roles to accelerate multiple versions to general release. We had direct business objectives and now, the management behind it to get it out of the door.
Product Manager Responsibilities:
Prioritize, Align and Present
- Prioritized new features to achieve business objectives:
- Aligned with cross-functional teams to achieve the release witin the planned timeframe
- Presented release details to stakeholders, customers, and gatekeepers
- Facilitated initial beta sign-up, ongoing participation and final conclusions to the beta process
Cross-Functional Team Contributions:
- Facilitated collaboration between cross-functional teams to
- Assisted with quality assurance to complete group testing – 7+ Users
- Helped marketing with gathering materials for release
UX and Visual Design:Clinical Overview Page:
- Identified workflows gaps within the software through user & trainer interviews
- Using UX tools & ‘Go to Gemba’ Lean methods, I developed empathy for by observing their their day-to-day workflows directly in their office
- A design was interated on exstensively. I then worked closely with development to achieve the desired result
UX Toolkit Used:
- Contextual inquiries: gathered qualitative feedback with users by working with them on-site
- User interviews: workflow sessions with customers regarding the Overview tab
- Stakehiolder interviews: feedback meetings with Chief Dental Officer who is also a former dentist
- Braintrust: gathered feedback and vetted Overview design through a selected group of users
Update Interface to More Modern Look:
- Researched, designed and developed Mosaic Design System for visual consistency
- Defined and vetted Visual Changes – Colors palette updates
- Designed the Overview layout and contents
- Vetted updates with brain-trust via an online community and feedback sessions
- Layout & Protoyping: Adopbe Photoshop and Adobe XD
- Stakeholder & braintrust interviews: held weekly workflow review meetings
- Design spec documentation: needed for pass off to the development team
- Cross-functional team collaboration: Color definition with Marketing department
Retention rates are going up since the releases have been installed on 50% of the customer base. From my interactions with customers, the new features have been well-received as it saves time in their get-up-to-speed workflow.
|This month||L3M||LTM||vs. L3M||vs. LTM|
Our revenue goals were acheived as a slight decline was expected but wasn’t more than was estimated. We were able to keep more customers involved by spreading the word by engaging customers through the online community and tradeshow interactions along with normal calls and emails.