Henry Schein, Inc. is the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to dental, animal health and medical practitioners. The company offers innovative technology solutions, including practice management software and ecommerce solutions. Schein serves more than one million customers.
- Saved multiple hours per week
- Faster sharing of changes
- Beautiful visual roadmaps
- Better consensus among team
Challenge: Focusing on the tool, not the work
“There’s got to be a better way,” thought Dan Larsen, product manager of technical solutions at Henry Schein, Inc. His team was making do with one spreadsheet after another to plan and present the product roadmap.
Spreadsheets failed on a number of grounds according to Larsen. “During our roadmap planning meetings we ended up spending more time watching the person manipulate cells and rows and columns and less time talking about what was important.” Spreadsheets were slowing the team down and diverting them from mission-critical planning.
“What I immediately liked about ProductPlan is that it was super simple to start using.”
Furthermore, because the company’s product teams are highly distributed, sharing the roadmap was complicated. When Larsen’s manager wanted to see the latest product roadmap, it needed to be emailed; the roadmap often became outdated almost as soon as it was sent. The result: confusion, frustration, and more time wasted.
The easiest roadmap software
Larsen was casting about for a product roadmap software solution when he found ProductPlan. “What I immediately liked about ProductPlan is that it was super simple to start using. The other roadmap tools were really complicated and difficult to use, while ProductPlan gave me exactly what I needed,” he says.
Larsen is fan of many of the innovative, easy features of ProductPlan. “One of the first times I had one of those ‘Oh wow, this is cool’ moments was when I started using the Planning Board,” says Larsen. ProductPlan’s Planning Board feature allows teams to score future initiatives. “I can easily drag a scored item to the roadmap – that’s when I thought, ‘this is super useful.’”
The visual representation of the roadmap is also important. “I love the color legend,” declares Larsen. “We use the legend to code projects based on product category. And because we share development resources, we now have one place where we’re agreeing on which team is working on a product.”
But in the end, what counts is enabling his team to focus. “We’ve saved a huge hunk of time,” he reports. “ProductPlan has helped us improve the business by giving us back our time to think strategically about the business, and not tactically about how to share information.”
Keeping remote teams on the same page
ProductPlan delivers easy access to the live version of the roadmap, ensuring transparency across his whole team and stakeholders, whether they are located in Utah, Florida, or anywhere.
When Larsen’s distant manager wants to check up on the latest planning, it’s easy. “Now, if he wants to know what’s going on or why we rated a project the way we did, he can sign in to ProductPlan and take a look himself,” he says. “We all have so much to do, so having that information accessible and organized is incredibly important.”