According to statistics, the first software product to enter the market can get up to 70% of the market share, while the products to appear later will get 20% at best. Depending on a software business model, you may have major version releases or small updates, but the longer you take with rolling either of them out, the bigger the chances to lose in the competition. To help you reduce your time to market, we offer 4 hands-on methods for software development optimization.
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 certain time-frame)
- 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)
Only upon making sure these bottlenecks don’t hold your development process back, proceed to tune it further.
A strategic cooperation approach is paramount for reducing TTM because it naturally speeds up all internal processes.
Consider the location of your product team or teams. There are advantages in outsourcing since you can have your team working on your product in different time zones and making progress almost 24/7. However, distance can cause bottlenecks in communication, so make sure to design a functional way of exchanging information. Invest in using applications that enable digitally shared workspaces and allow stable audio/video group conferences.
Always consider worst-case scenarios and avoid creating situations where losing a team member would result in significant setbacks for your project. Try to assemble a team with no ‘indispensable’ and ‘irreplaceable’ employees by hiring people with similar skill sets. Moreover, introduce regular team meetings to encourage everyone on the team to be always on the same page with the others.
Uncovering defects in the product early on has a great impact on time to market reduction. When even small bugs are revealed only before release, fixing them is both costly and time-consuming, which can throw your project back for weeks or months. If you’re trying to develop an MVP, such late-discovered bugs can easily make you run out of budget, thus ruining your entire project.
Make sure to launch both development QA (code review, unit testing) and testing activities (such as functional, integration, regression testing), as well as test automation – as soon as you launch development processes, and strive to keep both in line.
Rather than expecting developers to manually perform similar or repetitive tasks faster, it’s more time- and cost-effective to automate process using DevOps and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) approaches.
Any stage of software development life cycle can be automated, but strive to automate most time-consuming SDLC steps first. Automated deployment, testing, and build management, for instance, can bring the most significant TTM reduction while also improving software product quality in general by eliminating human error.
Reducing time to market means polishing your internal processes and fine-tuning your strategic approach to software product development. Avoiding development wastes, ensuring good cooperation, employing QA techniques as well as task automation can surprise you with how much faster you can roll out your software product to the market.
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