At HD we’re always analysing better and more efficient ways to design, develop and engineer new products and medical devices for our clients. There are several aspects that we have found to be key to developing an efficient team. Design Manager, Mark, shares just some of these ways to improve the productivity and effectiveness of a design team:

1. Good morale

It may seem obvious, but a happy team is a more productive team. Ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal and communicating well is fundamental. On a project level, support should always be available for any challenges. An extra pair of eyes even just to provide confirmation that the project is heading in the right direction can lead to confidence, and in turn, the speed at which it progresses.

2. Sharing of knowledge and tips across the team

Often at HD we come across a useful feature in a program or a new way of working that we’ve found beneficial to us. By sharing this with the wider team, it means the benefit can usually be multiplied several times through a quick message or training session. We have monthly team meetings to share how the company is progressing and we regularly end them with some informal training. Maybe someone has learnt a new skill, there’s an improved way of working being introduced or a reminder of best practice is required. It’s simple, quick, effective and can give very quick returns on the time invested.



3. Good planning to avoid delays where possible

A longer than expected project timeframe will often lead to more time being spent on it through additional review meetings, project management activities and general discussions about the project. Keeping the project lean and on track to meet the expected deadlines is important to keep productivity high throughout the process. Anticipating and planning in things such as colleague or client annual leave and manufacturer or supplier shut down periods can save weeks in a project! Where there are unavoidable dead spots in a project, plan tasks that can take place whilst waiting for prototypes or client decisions etc. Being organised with you planning is one of the biggest gains you can achieve in a project. Just try being disorganised with a project and you will soon learn just how crucial helping people to plan projects is for a productive team.

4. Utilise the ‘team’

The HD team is built up with decades of experience in lots of different areas, with varying specialities and capabilities. We always have an individual project lead but utilise each team members skills and experience during a project. Using a team sport analogy, we pick the right team with the right skills to suit each game. Having one amazing player can massively help a team but they can’t win on their own.

This team approach is what makes us efficient and as a result, an extremely useful resource for our clients. Isolating one person on a project doesn’t utilise this experience and can lead to dead-ends and oversights. Bringing the wider team’s experience and enthusiasm on to a project at the right points will undoubtedly boost progress and keep up the momentum throughout a project.

5. Take time out

In recent times we have taken more time out as a team to think about how we can improve the business as a whole as well as our design efficiency. We also take time out to discuss each person’s progress and well-being. Taking a step back and allowing this to happen creates a more collaborative approach on projects. Taking time out to help people understand the direction and aims of a project has naturally improved a lot of the points mentioned above including, increasing morale, lowering stress, improving communication and planning, as well as learning from each other as we go.


We hope you found this insight useful. Here at HD, we can work as a bolt-on resource to assist your team with specific tasks in a project or, we can help you undertake full new product and medical device development projects. Please get in touch to find out more about working with Mark and the team at HD to solve your new product and medical device development challenges.

Mark Heynes - Medical Device Design Director at Haughton Design Mark Heynes 10 March 2022


Get in Touch with Mark Heynes

Design Director

Mark has worked in new product development for almost 15 years. Graduating in Product Design from Staffordshire University and designing for the medical, healthcare, building products and automotive sectors, Mark uses this experience to manage the design team, ensuring project resource is well planned and design outputs meet high standards. Outside of work, he spends time with his family and practicing karate. Currently a 4th Dan with over 30 years training, Mark has the same dedicated approach to karate and design.

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