7 Ways to Get Your Product to Market Faster
If you’re involved in managing your company’s product development, you may be asking this question several times a day: “how can I get my product to the market faster?” Technology changes too fast and you can’t afford to lose ground to your competition. And let’s face it – it’s easy to get behind on your product development when you’re busy with your backlog of existing projects and meeting your existing customer demands.
So to help answer the question of how you can accelerate your product development and get to market faster, here are seven ideas to consider:
1) Be Agile: I know even your neighbors know about this one! But my point is to do it right and use it not only for project management but also for product marketing. If you do it right, Agile methodology enables you to achieve true incremental product delivery and team accountability.
2) Fail early: Be prepared to re-factor your product. Or, in plain terms, fail early. Get your prototype/product in front of beta testers and end users as quickly as possible. You need their feedback almost real time. And using Agile methodology, you can re-prioritize & re-configure your development efforts immediately. Conversely, if you wait months/year to get that end user feedback, you’ll have already missed the boat in terms of what your customers are looking for or what your competition may deliver faster.
3) Use emerging technologies: Review your technology stack. Use newest technologies or utilize the newest features of your existing platform for rapid development. For example, technologies like Ruby on Rails have become a de-facto for rapid development. Or, if you’ve developed your products in Java or Microsoft .NET, be sure to take advantage of improvements. For example, .NET isn’t only .NET anymore – there are a range of new frameworks available such as ASP.NET MVC, WCF, LINQ or Entity Framework – all of which can make your development efforts much smoother and faster.
4) Use open source technologies and their communities. Another benefit of reviewing your technology stack is that, nowadays, there are so many open source components available to you. And most of them are free. Even with technologies like .NET, you don’t have to rewrite and reinvent the wheel. Leverage what’s already out there via open source. Plus, open source components, in most cases, are tested by thousands – even hundreds of thousands – of users and are proven to be mature.
5) Go to the Cloud: What’s another way to go agile with your product development? Yes, go to the cloud. Cloud computing provides infrastructure with on-demand access to virtual server and storage resources well suited for development and test activities. Now, I understand your software may use sensitive information or you may be using it for the enterprise, and maybe you can’t afford private clouds. My point is you can use the cloud to make your product development activities more Agile. It helps reduce your costs and can speed up your development efforts, your deployment efforts, your rollout efforts and standardize your infrastructure requirements.
6) Reach out for help when you need it. Like the open source community, a lot of the help you may need is free. Consider websites with robust question and answer forums like Stack Overflow, and Quora. Also reach out to your Facebook network and use social media to get suggestions from experienced people in your network.
7) Use Global workforce: My last idea is about today’s global workforce. Global today is local. Tap global talent and take advantage of a 24-hour development cycle to speed up your product development. You may already be using it without knowing it by using open source and its community for help.
Let me know your feedback about these ideas and I’d certainly welcome hearing ideas you may have.
Motifworks (www.oldwebsite.motifworks.com) is a partner in emerging technology and innovation for business problem-solvers. Companies as large as Microsoft and Sears and as small as one-person start-ups rely on motifworks for lower cost, better delivery and more innovative thinking. For a partner in emerging technology and innovation, contact motifworks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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