Time-to-market is the time it takes to develop a product, from the conception of an idea to the market launch. If you can optimize time-to-market (TTM), it will offer you an advantage in terms of market share, revenue, and sales growth. Accelerating your TTM allows you to be more responsive to changes in the market than your competitors. Here are ways you can speed up your TTM.
Analyze Business Needs and Evaluate Solutions
Without analyzing your existing business needs, processes, and computing platforms, you won’t be aware of pitfalls, problems, and areas where you can make changes to prevent delays. When you analyze your workflows, you can identify bottlenecks and see steps you can eliminate, etc. Some of the most common delays occur because of technical processes that are too complex and take longer than you expect.
Once you understand more about what you need to change, you can begin evaluating solutions. Commercial solutions may be available to augment or replace existing solutions or processes. A Digital Integration Hub (DIH) is the application architecture that addresses the challenges in delivering high throughput, highly available, and responsible application programming interfaces (APIs).
The DIH decouples digital applications from the systems of record. This means you can realize the full benefits of modern application architecture in a unified platform. Avoiding the complexities of integrating multiple components can greatly accelerate TTM.
Create a Budget and a Plan
When you try to shorten development time, it will generally increase your spending. If you don’t want spending to get out of control, you need to find a balance and set clear revenue goals. This will help you to prioritize better and focus on core aspects of development. Your budget should include the estimated ROI for process improvements.
You also need to plan, and the more detailed and comprehensive you make your plan, the more effective your product will be. A thorough product development strategy can help you to identify any gaps in processes that require attention before they get costly.
One way to achieve this is to address isolated silos so information can flow smoothly. All players should be able to openly share knowledge whether they are in R&D, production, or purchasing. If you integrate product development with the rest of your business, you will see better results. Cross-functional teamwork can improve your TTM.
Promote New Solutions and Manage Workflows
Promoting new solutions and gaining acceptance for them can be challenging when employers are stuck in their ways. The first real step of optimizing TTM is to make sure workflow is efficiently managed.
It requires a concerted effort from management because it is not enough to have good processes without good process management. Skilled and experienced product managers that manage processes effectively can offer faster results.
When you implement new solutions, you must make sure they work properly, and that product management stakeholders and teams know how to use them. If all players involved in innovation can share information in real-time, they can make more informed decisions. Statistics, convenient time-tracking, and faster communication can help everyone to meet their goals. When the workflow is fast and well-organized, it increases your margin earnings and reduces the risks of a late release.
Human errors, such as wrong versions of critical information or slipping up on deadlines, can affect TTM. Automation can prevent human errors. It helps to manage the basic cycles of product development and prevents employees from having to perform routine and frequently repeated tasks. Automation can also improve communication and development tracking. It can provide real-time insights into a workflow which allows bottlenecks to be spotted and eliminated. Automation provides many opportunities to save on time and resources.
Shorten Approval Processes
Keeping track of updates and the latest version is essential for processes to run smoothly. The challenge is that this can be very time-consuming because it involves many stakeholders. As amounts of data keep increasing, constant verifications with teams can negatively affect timelines. Integrating, storing, and updating data in one central location can help to reduce confusion and decrease TTM. Data should always be accessible to everyone, regardless of place or time.
Verify a Product’s Viability with MVP
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product’s initial version. You can use it to receive feedback from your target audience before you officially release the product. It helps you to find out from your target audience whether you have a viable product instead of adding more functionalities and trying to polish a product prematurely.
A quick release of a product that does not meet customer expectations can be counterproductive. It can enable a competitor that does meet these product expectations to win despite being later to market than you. On the other hand, delaying too long and waiting to develop a perfect product may mean you miss a window of opportunity. There’s a delicate balance between developing a valuable product for consumers and beating competitors to market.
It is essential to measure the success of any investments you make in new solutions in terms of financial returns. This means using clearly established key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate their effectiveness. You can measure the length of time it takes to bring a concept to market, labor costs, and much more.
You should not only have an adaptable mindset, but your workflow system and the tools you use should have the same adaptability and flexibility. If you are unable to adapt to changes in regulations, marketing channels, demand, etc., chances are you will have a longer TTM or launch a product that does not live up to expectations. For example, it is essential to offer online payments in e-commerce, and if you don’t offer them, success is likely to elude you. Adaptability is essential today if you want to decrease your TTM.
To accelerate your time-to-market, you need to be able to make data-driven decisions and quickly solve product management issues. The quicker you can get your products to market, the more market share and revenue you are likely to earn. Take advantage of ways to decrease time-to-market, and you have a greater window of opportunity for success.