Software Product Development: How To Speed Up The Time To Market?
In many cases, the first product entering the market can take up the majority of the market share while similar products that appear later will likely get a smaller market share. And this also comes out true in the software market.
Read more: The Importance of Time-To-Market
Your company may have major releases or minor upgrades released depending on the business model and other factors, but the longer it takes you to deploy them, the more likely you are to lose out to the competition. In this article, 4 best practices to streamline software development as well as reduce time-to-market (TTM) will be explained.
- Establish efficient cooperation
Having strategic cooperation and effective teamwork can obviously boost all internal processes of the company, which is beneficial for reducing TTM.
It is worth mentioning that a software outsourcing team can bring lots of competitive advantages to your business. For example, you can have your product worked on by an offshore team in a different time zone. This means, your product can be developed almost 24/7, but distance is surely a barrier to communication.
So it is best to establish an effective way to exchange information among the team members, before starting the project. Many SaaS communication solutions like Slack, MS-team, Skype, etc. as well as project management like JIRA allow team members to communicate anytime, anywhere (in both text, audio, and video forms) with project resources to be digitally shared.
- Incorporating Software Testing & Quality Assurance processes as soon as possible.
Fixing minor bugs which are just recently found right before release is quite expensive, and time-consuming. As a consequence, your project's release can be set back for weeks or even months until such "small" bugs get fixed. If you want to develop an MVP, you need to be cautious of late mistakes because they can easily eat up your budget, or even worse, which is ruining the entire project.
Thus, early detection of software product defects can have a significant effect on time-to-market reduction.
Make sure to launch both development QA (code review, unit testing) and testing activities (such as functional, integration, and regression testing), as well as test automation – as soon as you launch the development processes, and strive to keep both in line.3. Eliminate The Unnecessaries
Reducing time-to-market also means eliminating unnecessary steps that occur in the current development process. Sometimes, overworking may happen which means more code gets produced than needed in a certain time frame. On the contrary, bottlenecks in internal processes create a standstill and prolong the development process.
Other IT wastes happening in the software product development process may include:
- Overengineering (meaning code or architecture is made more complex than necessary)
- Technical debt (existing bugs that need to be fixed and code that needs to be edited). Thus, you need to be sure that these barriers will not hold your development process back in order to proceed to tune it further.
Try to create a team that will not have any 'critical' and 'irreplaceable' members by recruiting people with similar skills. Moreover, make sure each member of the team stays on the same page with the others by having regular team meetings.
- Embrace the DevOps practices
By automating the process using DevOps and CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) methods, you can save even more time and costs instead of waiting for developers to manually perform the same or repetitive tasks faster.
For example, not only do the automated deployment, testing, and build management have a significant impact on reducing time-to-market, but they also increase the quality of a software product as a whole by removing mistakes that can be caused by humans. Even though many steps in the software development lifecycle can be automated, it's still important to prioritize those time-consuming steps of the SDLC before others.
Time-to-market is an important advantage that business organizations should try to achieve. Reducing TTM means improving internal processes and refining your strategic approach to software product development.
This can be accomplished by reducing or removing unnecessaries during the development process, ensuring efficient collaboration between team members and with your outsourcing vendor, embracing quality assurance techniques as well as automating tasks and you will be amazed at how quickly your software product hits the market.