The time it takes to develop a product, from concept to launch, is known as time to market. It is an accepted reality in most businesses that in order to boost your business’s chances of success, you must launch your products and/or services ahead of the competition.
So, no matter how brilliant your offer is if you allow competitors to gain an advantage, the innovation you want to be yours will be credited to them.
You may have large version releases or incremental updates, depending on your software business model, but the longer you wait to release either, the more likely you are to lose ground in the market.
Benefits of a reduced time to market
There are a number of reasons why you don’t want your product to be released after your competitors. You’ve probably already considered some of these.
In addition to missing out simply by not being present, being a follower rather than a leader hurts your company’s industry reputation. Your competitors can dominate the market even though their product is inferior just by meeting the need first.
Every innovation and industry development is an opportunity for you or your competitors to reinforce their relevance to customers. Improved speed to market is critical for at least three reasons:
- There is a brief time of anticipation and excitement in the market for any new product, innovation, or improvement. The spotlight is shining brightest on individuals who are leading the way for change. Being the first to market means basking in the glow of the spotlight.
- Another advantage of flexibility and speed is the ability to seize opportunities when they arise. Those doors are frequently only open for a short period of time. More opportunities arise as a result of increased speed.
- Companies that have a reputation for being forward-thinking and quick to respond to market movements benefit from a cumulative effect. Each correctly timed response adds to the momentum. As a result, each new launch gains more trust and marketing influence.
Ways to help you minimize your time to market for software development optimization
Reduced time to market involves, first and foremost, the removal of existing wastes in the existing development process. The following are examples of IT wastes connected with software product development:
- Overproduction (i.e., producing more code than is required in a given timeframe) is a problem.
- Overengineering (the process of making code or architecture more sophisticated than it needs to be)
- Waiting (i.e. internal process limitations that cause a delay)
- Technical debt (bugs that need to be resolved and code that needs to be refactored).
Only when you’ve established that these constraints aren’t slowing down your development process you should continue to perfect it.
Create a successful collaboration plan
Because it automatically speeds up all internal operations, a strategic cooperative strategy is critical for minimizing time to market.
Consider where your product team or teams will be based. Outsourcing has its benefits because it allows you to have your team working on your product in multiple time zones and making progress practically constantly. Distance, on the other hand, can generate communication difficulties, so make sure to plan a viable method of transmitting data. Invest in software that allows for digitally shared workspaces and stable audio/video group meetings.
Furthermore, always anticipate the worst-case scenario and prevent situations where losing a team member might cause major project delays. In addition, hold regular team meetings to motivate everyone in the team to always be on the same page.
Start QA processes early on
Rapid recognition of product flaws has a significant impact on reducing time to market. Fixing even minor defects before delivery is both costly and time-consuming, and may set your project back weeks or months. If you’re trying to build an MVP, late-discovered errors can quickly deplete your budget, causing your entire project to fail.
As soon as you start development procedures, make sure to start development QA (code review, unit testing) and testing activities (such as functional, integration, and regression testing), as well as test automation.
Rather than expecting developers to complete comparable or repetitive operations faster by hand, DevOps and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) techniques are more time and cost-effective.
Any stage of the software development life cycle can be automated, however, the most time-consuming software development life cycle stages should be automated first. Automated deployment, testing, and build management, for example, can significantly reduce time to market while simultaneously enhancing overall software product quality by eliminating human errors.
Customer purchasing decisions are based on their perception of value rather than real performance. Understanding how your consumers use the product and what they think it’s worth might help you cut out stages or better align specs with user desires.
Reducing time to market requires fine-tuning internal procedures and a strategic approach to software product development. Reducing development waste, establishing good teamwork, applying QA procedures, and task automation will help you surprise yourself with how much quicker your software product can reach the market.
The optimal moment to release a product is determined by the product development strategy. By improving your skills, you can cut your time to market in half. Adaptability, fast learning, and resilience, on the other hand, are the name of the game when it comes to speed.
And don’t forget! Nowadays that the right time to market can make the difference between success and stagnation, if not an outright failure! The first out the gate has a better chance of winning!