Premium Urinary Drainage Catheter

A major health-care corporation had many companies spread around the world. Each company manufactured a high-volume product for a specific market segment and supported a research and development effort to expand that market segment. In the past when a research and development project resulted in a product that demonstrated significant sales growth potential, a new company might be created.

At one company the primary market segment was disposable medical devices. A disposable medical device research and development effort was in progress to add a premium urinary drainage catheter to expand the basic latex catheter capacity that had been purchased from a catheter supply house. The premium catheter consisted of a silicone body with a urethane ballon material. Laboratory test results were promising, and samples for clinical trials were being fabricated.

The marketing department projected that a successful clinical test would make the catheter line competitive with the current market leader, and the disposable catheter line would become a new spin-off company; resulting in new high-paying titles, executive perks, etc.

As the clinical samples were being prepared a review of prior test results, by QA and Engineering, revealed that all prior testing was done in water! A urinary drainage catheter lives in human urine! Additional review of the business plan revealed that estimated first-year sales for the premium catheter were assumed to be 100% of the total market. When senior management  was informed that no testing was done in urine and first-year sales were assumed to be 100% of the total market share, the marketing department was dissolved.

Eventually a premium catheter was tested in urine and a clinical trial was conducted. The results did not indicate a significant performance difference between the market leader and the in-house premium catheters. Expansion of the catheter business was terminated.



* Which supports and barriers were in play?

* What were the dynamics?

* What, or who, won the Tug-of-War?

* Discuss the outcome with your friends and family.

* Use Post #4 as a reference for the dynamics and the relationships between supports and barriers.