Fresenius Group Successfully Expanded to New Markets with the Help of Product People

The Client: Fresenius Group

Fresenius Group is a German-based global healthcare company with a diverse range of services in the medical field. The company operates through four main segments, each specializing in different aspects of healthcare.

Fresenius Medical Care is renowned for its dialysis services, catering to individuals with chronic kidney failure. Meanwhile, Fresenius Helios operates hospitals primarily in Germany and Spain, offering extensive medical and health services, and is one of Europe’s top private hospital operators.

The third segment, Fresenius Kabi, focuses on lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition. This division is dedicated to the care of critically and chronically ill patients, providing essential products and services for hospitals and outpatient medical settings.

Lastly, Fresenius Vamed deals with the management of projects and services for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Its expertise ranges from the planning and development to the management of healthcare facilities.

In essence, Fresenius Group spans a comprehensive range of healthcare services and products, from kidney dialysis and hospital management to nutritional products and essential medical services and technologies. This broad spectrum of activities allows the company to significantly influence various aspects of healthcare delivery around the globe.

The Mission: Outbound Product Manager to drive international go-to-market

In May 2022, we joined Fresenius Group as interim Outbound Product Managers. We were needed because the Product Manager position had been vacant for a few months and the company was preparing an international expansion into the Kenyan market. The role of the Outbound Product Manager was crucial to support, collaborate, and align with the in-house team. That team was made up of 70 developers, 5 designers, 4 UX researchers, and 4 tech leads/engineering managers.

Company Expectations:

  • Manage Stakeholders: Understanding the needs and expectations of stakeholders to shape them and ensure they are up to speed with all decisions was one of the main expectations that the company had for the Interim Product Manager from Product People.
  • Effectively leverage the organization: work with a cross-functional team of experts to develop the necessary functionality for the core user journeys.
  • Ensure Regulatory Compliance: the digital product must be medically and regulatory compliant in the designated markets before launch.

What was our goal?

"Work with a cross-functional team to deliver on the first market entry on the committed timeline while mitigating the risks of introducing a medical product in a new market.”

How We Helped

Discovery

We identified two main problems and one curve ball when we arrived. First, there was a gap between the high-level user journey for the new markets and the existing journey, but it was unclear how to close this gap. Secondly, we only had 3 months to build the functionality needed for a successful market entry in Kenya, but requirements were not yet specified, and designs were missing. On top of that, summer was approaching, which meant reduced capacity due to vacations.

Initiative 1 - Clarify the key user journeys

Problem:

  • A high-level user journey for the initial set of international markets had been discovered, but how this stacked up to the existing product and what needed to change to create this journey was unknown.

What we did:

  • Interviews with various stakeholders to map out the requirements for the high-level journey.
  • Breakdown of the high-level journey into a detailed user journey.
  • Review of the existing product with Designers and Developers.
  • Gap assessment between the detailed user journey and the existing product.
  • Visualization of the detailed journey and gaps.

Our Outcomes:

  • This initiative gave developers and stakeholders a clear picture of what was expected of the product to enter the Kenyan market and what needed to be developed to make the user journey a reality.
  • This visualization became the go-to artifact for stakeholders, developers, and designers when discussing the Kenya market entry and creating a common understanding among the various stakeholder groups.

Initiative 2 - Clear Roadmapping

Problem:

  • Once the gap between vision and product was clarified, it also became clear that we needed to make hard choices. What would make it into the product at market entry, and what would go into future iterations?

What we did:

  • We created a roadmap & release plan for Kenya, scoping the first few releases.
  • Contribution to the core user journey: does a feature enable the journey or make the ride more pleasant? How important is a part of the journey relative to others for users?
  • Contribution to the overall market entry and product strategy: how important is a feature for the business viability of launching Fresenius Group's product in Kenya?
  • Cost of delay: how much do we lose by releasing with a later iteration?
  • Technical complexity: are we able to build it before market entry?
  • Available development capacity.
  • Dependencies.

Initiative 3 - Deliver the roadmap

Problem:

  • Even though we had a clear plan, we only had 3 months until the first market entry, where we needed to de-risk, design, refine, and develop the pieces of the journey.

What we did:

  • This was truly a collaborative effort between Product, Design, and Engineering.
  • We focused on crafting the epics needed to create the user journey and worked with the medical and legal teams to address risks associated with the market entry of a medical product.
  • The designers and UX researchers created and validated the designs, ensuring they met our minimum usability requirements.
  • We worked with Engineering managers and developers to refine the epics into stories, tasks, and subtasks.
  • Designers and developers collaborated closely so that we could build the features while designs were iterated on.

Our Outcome:

  • Fresenius Group successfully launched its product in Kenya, and the initial traction looks promising.

Delivered Outcomes

💡 User journeys and features for a successful market entry in Kenya and Vietnam.
💡 Aligned stakeholders and teams on the detailed user journeys for Kenya and Vietnam.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

Product Management Consultant
Associate Management Consultant
VP/Director/Head of Product

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.