Bio::Neos, Inc., a custom software consulting company based in Coralville, Iowa, provides full software design and development services to the life sciences researchers, healthcare companies, and other scientific groups. With our strong history of providing our software development services for scientists throughout the nation, and our scientific advisory board’s experience of decades of bioinformatics research, the Bio::Neos team is uniquely positioned to understand the problem space of our clients and provide ideal software solutions to address them.
1. A vision of the final product without a roadmap to get there
2. Lack of resources – don’t know where to start, don’t have the team to complete it and not sure how to get the product adopted
3. Funding – limited funding
Our client was focused on defining what problems her customers were facing and what she could do to address them. However, her vision of the final platform lacked a clear roadmap for implementation and adoption into the community. She needed a team to make this dream into a reality.
Sue Gehling has dedicated her life to providing youth mental health services as a Nurse Practitioner. Living in rural Iowa, she witnessed first-hand the struggles of patients and their families trying to find these necessary services; services that many times could help kids who were struggling academically, behaviorally or with familial issues by addressing them early. She identified that access was the biggest factor in determining whether children would get help or not — families would have to decide if they could invest a full day to travel and counseling. Sue believed that an online platform could be built to provide these communities with the access they needed to help kids where they spend much of their time, in school.
As her concept continued to develop, Sue was faced with the real world challenges of implementing her platform. While the end goal was clear to see, knowing the steps along the way was a mystery. So she started where most custom technology searches begin — documenting what the system should do and then shopping around to compare costs and development timelines. But this only gave Sue a strict proposal with a timeline of over one year with a price tag in excess of $200,000. What’s more, the rigid scope outlined a platform which made numerous assumptions about user requirements, giving little room for future iteration. Ultimately Sue was left wondering, “Will this investment get me what I truly want and need?”
Collaboration & Solution
Steve Davis, president of Bio::Neos, and Sue began their professional relationship through networking and simple conversations about their businesses and goals. Once trust was established, Sue recognized the expertise and experience of the Bio::Neos team and asked Steve to review the proposals she received from other companies. As Scientific Technology Architects, we wanted to step back from the technology implementation to learn more about the system goals before thinking about how to build the platform. By pausing with Sue to learn about her goals and hopes to impact the community, we were able to identify the core features that would make her platform most successful. At this point, we recognized that the user experience and requirements were still unknown. For the best user adoption possible, we decided to focus on core features to build out an agile roadmap and get an MVP into testing.
With an initial budget of $20,000 and a 2-month development timeline, together we created a core-elements platform that enabled Sue to reach rural students. By realigning her initial investment by 90%, Sue was able to quickly begin pilot projects with school districts to demonstrate the ROI for both schools and potential investors. This MVP opened the door for her to receive additional funding for ongoing platform development.
After collaboratively defining the roadmap and identifying the highest value features for the platform, we next got to work crafting the best user experience for Sue’s customers. By conducting user interviews, we worked at curating the user interfaces and experiences of each feature through incremental releases. We challenged our initial ideas and developed features with real user input, in real time — eliminating the waste of resources to correct any invalid assumptions and improving user adoption.
With Bio::Neos as her trusted technology partner, Sue could focus on the students, networking, grant writing, and the outcomes of the development. With her professional insights and capabilities, she leveraged our understanding of technology to implement the job-to-be-done to meet customer needs. As Sue solidifies her company’s direction and shapes dimensions of her platform, Bio::Neos will collaborate as an ongoing, flexible partner.
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