Time to market (referred to as TTM) is the length of time from when a team starts work on a product until the first unit is sold. Generally, speed is balanced against other factors such as features, innovation, or quality. There are many merits to working quickly in tech, as it’s an industry where agility is often attributed to a company’s success.
However, because many software suppliers cannot keep pace with the demand for new products, they frequently set overly aggressive schedules for new product development. Being quick does not equal being superior and being speedy for speed’s sake can lead to avoidable mistakes.
Repeatedly sacrificing quality for speed can also come at the expense of developer velocity and running the risk of losing credibility with customers the shortcuts were trying to attain. Think about it, you will not be competitive if you’re just first but then clearly surpassed by a competitor’s user experience.
Therefore, we’ve compiled a few ways to speed up your time to market still while balancing efficient, smart processes.
Unsurprisingly, automation is a secure way of reducing time to market. Automating processes aids in passing clear information on due dates and activities, ridding the amount of confusion and delay that might occur, and keeping your team focused. Knowing what to do and when to carry out certain activities is a significant portion of what automation offers. Furthermore, automation empowers your engineers by allowing teams to work on more complex issues without spending time and energy on repetitive or redundant tasks.
Consider what you are doing and why. Most waste is due to overhead like administrative red tape, repetitive tasks, or unnecessary processes or product features. More features do not equate to a better product. Having a solid prioritization process is a robust foundational step to get started with improving your process.
Reduction of time to market means, above all, the elimination of existing wastes in the current development process. The IT wastes associated with software product development include:
- Overproduction (= producing more code than needed in a specific timeframe)
- Overengineering (= making code or architecture more complex than needed)
- Waiting (= bottlenecks in internal processes that create standstills)
- Technical debt (= bugs that need to be fixed and code that needs to be refactored)
Upon making sure these bottlenecks don’t hold your development process back, proceed to fine-tuning.
Shorter approval process
As mentioned above, development teams can only move so fast when they’re weighed down by emailing revised documents back and forth, waiting on reviews and approvals, and then counting on the one person in the organization who understands how to operate their legacy platform to implement all the changes correctly. Waiting for someone to decide is one of the common bottlenecks in software development projects.
Put a cooperation strategy in place from the get-go. Decide which team members are responsible for each part of the project so that the team members can quickly get a response when an urgent decision is needed.
Outsourcing peripheral aspects of your project to trusted experts can also reduce time to market. Always use outsourcing to your advantage when necessary; it helps build a reliable and adequately structured system while potentially speeding up your processes.
For instance, you can outsource identifying the customer to be targeted at launch, price points, or promotion channels. Developing an ecosystem with reliable supporting partners that can assist in rolling out innovations can speed up your time to market.
There are solutions, but no silver bullets
Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to magically shield you from the pitfalls of tighter development schedules and faster iterations. Time-to-market and quality goals are not mutually exclusive. Both goals can be achieved with proper motivation, a quality culture, and continuing support. Take some steps to create a process that will withstand the growing constraints.
How TeamUP can help
Choosing a partner to assist in outsourcing can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s why working with an experienced outsourcing partner like TeamUP makes sense.
TeamUP is a specialized engineering consultant resource in the engineering and technology industries. We work with employers and IT/tech candidates to understand their goals and help progress them, striving to make on-demand talent sourcing simple by providing skilled tech professionals to meet your needs. Our focus is to help you achieve your goals to ignite change and accelerate transformation.