Feedback for Improvement

This week, I spent a large portion of my time focusing on my task of receiving feedback from the members of the DA team about working at BSC. I created an interview guide and met with each member of the team individually to talk about the positive aspects of their work life, as well as some of the improvements that could be made. One of the key insights that I learned from this experience is that all of them really enjoy working at Boston Scientific. There weren’t very many complaints from the group, which is something that I have noticed about Costa Ricans in general—they hardly ever complain. One of the other keys that I took away from this experience, however, is that there is always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve is to ask for feedback.

Asking for feedback can be challenging, because many people feel uncomfortable listening to someone tell them what they could do better. It can be difficult to listen to feedback without taking it personally, and at the same time, it can difficult to give feedback to someone for fear of hurting their feelings. Dr. Richardson has a good system for addressing these issues, which I tried to mimic for this assignment at BSC. He uses ‘pluses’ and ‘deltas’ in order to understand what the group liked about a certain experience and what could be changed to make it better. With this in mind, I structured my interview guide to draw out the positive aspects of being an employee at BSC and a member of the DA team, as well as any improvements that could be made in order to make the job more enjoyable. Once I gathered all of the information, I put together a short presentation for the team to show what I found, and then we had a brainstorming session to come up with solutions to the areas of improvement. We brought out the post it notes and came up with several stacks of ideas. After the session, I organized all of the solutions in a document (8 pages worth of ideas!), which I will go over with Guiselle and our manager next week. Hopefully we will be able to implement some of the ideas in order to make improvements.

This week, I also finished one of my main projects. I completed all of my required components of the Design Ownership Transfer (DOT) checklist for the cardiac catheter product that incorporates intravascular ultrasound imaging. This week, I read the Design Change Logs, Use and Design FMEAs, Business Inputs, and Test Methods documentation. After completing all of the reading, I summarized all of the notes that I took for this project for Guiselle. I am happy that I was able to complete one of my big goals for this internship, and it was a great project to learn all of the components that are required for a product to be successful on the market. Even though it required a lot of reading, it was a good introduction into the knowledge that a sustaining engineering team needs to know about a product in order to maintain its success throughout its lifecycle and be able to create new projects for improvement.

My reading for the week did not stop with those documents. In fact, on Tuesday, I read a total of 23 documents between that project and my other big project. Yes, you read that right—23 documents in one day. My brain was hurting a little bit that evening, but it was worth it. Because of all of that reading, I was able to complete the updated objective for my other big project as well. As a reminder, this project is focused on creating a project scoping draft for a new proposed device that builds off of an existing device that BSC has on the market. This project had hit a standstill for a while but picked up some speed this week. I met with two of the DA team members working on the project to discuss the status of the project, and my task was to develop a list of questions to consider for implementing the new product on the market. One of the biggest concerns with this project is how much time it will require and how much it will cost. Prior to this internship, I didn’t realize how many considerations you have to take into account even when making such a minimal change to a device. After reading many, many documents about the existing device, I was able to come up with a page and half list of questions to consider for implementation of the new device. And just like that, another one of my objectives is complete!

Another exciting development from this week is that I may get to present the Needs Finding lecture for the Innovation Culture Project with Guiselle after all! We are hoping to be able to do several small sessions with the R&D and DA teams so that I will be able to be a part of the session before we head back to the States. Hopefully we will be able to follow through with this and I’ll be able to check off another one of my projects. I think it will be a really great opportunity for me to talk about something that I am passionate about. Speaking of which—I had a one-on-one meeting with the last member of the DA this week (he was on vacation prior to that so I hadn’t had the chance to meet him), and he talked about his work so passionately that I was truly intrigued. I hope to enjoy my work like that when the time comes.

Wednesday of this week was another Costa Rican holiday, so we had the day off to relax (which was a nice break after all of that reading), and this weekend, Tasha, Sanjana, Anna, and I went to Puerto Viejo in the Limon province with some of our coworkers to relax on the beautiful Caribbean beaches.

We only have four more days in this beautiful country. I can’t believe it’s almost over. With my number of tasks to complete at work starting to dwindle, I am starting to feel a sense of accomplishment, but I also hope to take full advantage of my final week at BSC and in Costa Rica.

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