Time to market (TTM) plays an essential role in the failure or success of IT products. The sooner you jump onto the bandwagon, the more you’ll get. These are golden words correctly describing the need for accelerating time-to-market processes.
TTM outplays ROI
Time to market or TTM is the time needed to bring a product to fruition. TTM includes all stages of product development – idea, design cycle, development, and launch on the market.
TTM is the new ROI of business success. Adopting TTM as a primary criterion has more benefits than just minimizing the likelihood the market will change before you get there. TTM favor action over indecision and flexibility over rigidity. In other words, the more streamlined and effective your development processes are, the better results you’ll get.
Opposed to ROI, TTM encourages forward movement and MVP (Minimum Viable Product) delivery. It facilitates to launch what you need to get into the market and then make changes to it as fast as possible. Launching fast lets you get real customer feedback to improve your product at a blistering pace based on what the market needs, not on research and assumptions.
In most cases, getting the product to the market faster makes all the difference in terms of outplaying competitors to be the number-one solution. Just imagine if you were Google before Google or Dropbox before they came on the scene and took it over.
How faster time-to-market can affect your product success?
Probably the best way to describe how a reduced time-to-market can impact your business is by defining how it can hurt. Nowadays, small and large companies misuse around 43% of their resources. And this happens mainly because of repetitive work, pointless overhead, useless features, poor information management, and failed product launch.
A reduced time-to-market can bring actual benefits to your business:
- Efficient and powerful management
A detailed timeline and a reliable schedule allow getting ahead of the production cost and building up schedules based on personnel capacity planning and lead times.
- Raised margin revenue
If your product meets all the market needs and you’re responsive to them, your revenue will meet and even exceed your expectations.
- Faster market shares
Easily outplay your competitors by fast launch and updates.
- More market opportunities
If you are the first on the market, the whole market belongs to you.
- Being one step ahead of the competitors
Being Dropbox before Dropbox is definitely worth the candle.
How to speed up time to market?
No one can deny the importance of TTM. But the question is how to speed it up. We’ve picked out the most effective ways.
- Take advantage of the “lean” concept
Going “lean” in digital product development is based on the main principle of the Toyota Production Systems emphasizing “the quickest and most efficient way” to deliver products. The following principle is a must for large companies where project deadlines are often long due to inefficient workflows, detached teams, and reporting issues.
Though Toyota is a large corporation, there’re delivering fast thanks to properly organized work processes. What makes Toyota so efficient?
- Jidoka highting that quality must be built into the manufacturing process.
- Just-in-time emphasizing that a product should be made when it is needed and in the amount, it is needed.
The above-mentioned principles have found their use in software development as well. Agile takes advantage of Toyota’s “go lean” concept. Agile development uses sprints to deliver “what needed and when need” allowing for more flexibility in the development processes.
Main principles of lean development
1. Get rid of waste
2. More feedback
3. Defer commitment
4. Fast delivery
5. Create knowledge
6. People really matter
According to the McKinsey report, DevOps can help companies test and launch IT product faster and at a lower cost. DevOps allows for the integration of product development and IT operations. Being able to respond to innovation quickly, test digital products, refine them, and release have become a competitive advantage in the IT world.
- Mind your team location
There are pros and cons of hiring outsourcing and in-house teams. Let’s consider how outsourcing and in-house teams can affect your project delivery deadlines.
When it comes to in-house teams, it’s obvious that face-to-face meetings are much better than Skype or Zoom. Secondly, you have much more control over in-house specialist than outsourcing teams. On the other hand, you have to manage and organize their work properly.
Outsourcing teams may have challenges with communication, especially when there is a huge time difference and/or a language barrier. But outsourcing different teams leads to work around the clock and faster product release. For example, while your team members are sleeping in New York, your team members are working in Europe or Asia. That’s a huge benefit!
Moreover, you’ve got far more options when it comes to outsourcing. You don’t need to keep to local specialists. All in all, if you streamline communication, outsourcing may be your best way to speed up time to market.
- Streamline communication
As soon as your project starts, ensure that everyone knows their roles on the project. Major delays can happen due to improper communication and misunderstandings. For example, Peter thinks that he should do this or that piece of work, but actually, he has to deal with completely different things.
In other words, clear everything you can to streamline work and avoid delays. Your core goal should be clear; otherwise, teams can waste weeks and even months going down rabbit holes wasting time as well as resources on the wrong things.
With perfectly stated goals, roles, and deadlines, it’s important to systematize the communication throughout the project. Consider project management tools and communication systems such as Slack, Skype, Jira, etc. Invest more time and resources into planning and organization to get the most out of your project team.
Wrap it up
Time to market is an important factor in measuring business success. Efficiency is a key point when it comes to reducing time to market, but it never should be at the cost of quality and effectiveness.
Getting to the market as efficiently as possible is quite a challenging task, but smart solutions for IT and proper management can make it easier.