The software and informatics sector provides services to many different sectoral structures, especially the future world of business. However, it should not be forgotten that businesses need to use their sales and marketing systems correctly to make the most of these opportunities. At the same time, they should include sales and marketing departments in their structure. This structural strength will be able to take software and IT sector businesses one step ahead of their competitors.
In the competitive business world, only businesses that can create value for their target markets and act according to consumer needs and demands will be able to survive. The competition in the market where the software and informatics sector is located is quite fierce and risky. Businesses spend on R&D studies, innovation studies and product development to make their products more specific and useful than competing products. From this point of view, businesses that can carry out their sales and marketing in a professional structure in the sector can have a more solid place in the sector as well as have a sustainable business future.
Businesses operating in the software and IT sector need to collect information, analyze, make informed decisions, and apply them uninterruptedly. In addition, it is extremely important that they move to an institutional structure in terms of increasing communication, establishing audit systems, effective risk management, and effective future management.
Let’s start by explaining what Time to Market is and why you should seriously review it. Finally, we’ll show you how you can speed up the process and shorten the time to market for your software products.
What is Time to Market?
Time to Market (TTM) is the time it takes a product from the idea stage to launch. In other words, it is the time between when the team starts work and when the first product is sold.
TMM should think both quantitatively and qualitatively. There is a best time to launch a product and it may not always be the shortest possible time. However, it is often the case with products produced through a more innovative development process. Launching the product at the right time requires adaptability and flexibility. These abilities are the priority of time-based competition today.
The more fluid and efficient a company’s product development process is, the better its TTM can be predicted and analyzed. It also makes it easier to plan how to launch the product in the right place and time.
The Importance of Time to Market
Also known as Speed to Market (STM), the term is one of the main determining factors in the success of innovation for several reasons. Because, first of all, rival companies all invest in innovation to varying degrees. In today’s fast-moving and extraordinarily competitive business environment, being the first to innovate gives you a first mover advantage. It also allows you to gain brand awareness and product loyalty before other companies come to market with similar products. If your TTM isn’t fast enough, other companies may dominate the market first. This unfortunately means that you will have to play catch. Critically, it has been proven that being slower leads to lower profitability for a product.
There are also some additional reasons to improve your TTM, which we list below:
- It increases the efficiency of the management process – Creating a reliable schedule helps your team avoid production cost and time, and create schedules based on lead time and headcount planning.
- Launch dates are predictable – If you can predict when your product will hit the market, you can already take advantage of various marketing opportunities to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
- Your market shares increase – Publishing your innovations ahead of the pack will enable you to gain higher market shares.
- Your overall income increases – The sooner you launch your product, the less competition there will be in that time frame, so you can generate more revenue.
In short, the shorter your TTM, the more competitive advantage you have.
How to Shorten Time to Market for Your Software Products
Today, software and product development teams abuse a significant portion of their resources. This is often due to extra overheads such as administrative paperwork, repetitive work, poor product launch, and poor quality information management. Also, most companies’ data is unstructured and unorganized, meaning the tools don’t provide adequate support. The result: inefficiencies and delays.
To accelerate, companies need to be well prepared and flexible for innovation in different areas. Companies often find themselves stronger in some of these areas than others. For example, many software companies have development processes but no foundation.
Although there is no secret system for fast cycle time, here are tried-and-true practices to accelerate TTM while ensuring high-quality product development:
1) Plan your project
Approaching product development without a plan is reckless. Even if you think it will change several times for a startup or product, you still need to provide your development team with a plan.
Developing a product without sticking to any plan will lead to a lot of unnecessary and messy communication and a lack of documentation. Moreover, you will spend a lot of time making necessary changes to the project in the future. Also, if the current team changes in the future, new team members will spend unnecessary time trying to understand what’s going on with the code.
2) Decide how you will communicate
Before determining your communication strategy, answer these questions: How often do you meet with your team? How does your team communicate urgent issues to you? How often do they report to you about the process? Along with the team structure, you should make sure that your communication is effective.
Decide on communication methods before you start developing the project. As a common way, you can keep your reports in emails, discuss pressing issues with the in-house messaging system, and hold meetings in a video conferencing application. Identify the means of communication correctly and involve all team members in absolutely all matters.
3) Adopt Agile Methodology
Agile methodology is a project management technique that helps teams respond to the unpredictability of product development. Its principles have enabled teams of all types to work more iteratively and flexibly, enabling them to adapt to the changing requirements of their projects and deliver results faster.
Agile Project Management may seem like just a trending project management methodology, but on the contrary, it is a proven technique that has been widely used.
Agile project management is not magic, if you are looking at it as something that will solve all your project problems at once, you may be wrong. You need support, a variety of purchases, and the right team members to properly implement Agile methods.
We implement Agile methods here at Lab651, read more on Agile and how we use it.
How Does Agile Improve TTM?
Agile approach breaks down the wall between market and product concept. It helps your team test developed products, check its relevance to business needs, and create an MVP and roll it out earlier. The team then incorporates feedback from customers or product owners into products as soon as possible. Next, new versions are then retested with real customers.
The Agile approach minimizes time-to-market while ensuring regular interaction with customers by moving the market to the workspace and increasing productivity as team members work on more submitted code.
4) Define Workflows Well
By analyzing the workflows, the difficulties that prolong the process, the insufficiently allocated resources, and the tracking of all duties and responsibilities within the other Enterprise allow people to see the issue they are working on from a wider perspective and to take the right steps in completing each stage on the way to a whole.
The workflow program ensures that all steps in the completion of the work are coordinated in a general way and that any problems or extra tasks that may arise in this process are included in this process, and this process is greatly facilitated. This programming phase includes all workflow processes and even the smallest points that may arise depending on these processes.
Of course, in the programming, steps are determined according to the fields of activity of the departments that they plan to include in the workflow management and the subjects that the enterprises are working on. This process ensures that your employees, especially in the areas you intend to include, can work more effectively and have a command of the general operation.
5) Assign a Target Amount of Revenues
Having a revenue target for the project team is crucial to success. If you do not have a specific financial goal, your business will not work as you wish. Innovations and changes essentially depend on your business model. That’s why you should measure the success of investment in modern changes by its financial returns. This will motivate the team to market the product faster.
One of the most common revenue calculations is Return on Investment (ROI). ROI represents the financial return from an investment. In other words, it measures the amount you get back compared to your investment.
ROI, which is used to measure and evaluate efficiency and profitability, is one of the terms we hear frequently in the software industry. This calculation, which is frequently used for investment targets, can be based on a general or specific period.
The speed of products to market is one of the most important factors for the competitiveness of companies. All these steps we’ve listed above are an important part of managing that speed. However, this should never come at the expense of product effectiveness or the quality of the work done.
Reaching the market as efficiently as possible is not an easy task as it seems. However, if you have the right project plan, efficient use of human resources and a strong communication network, it becomes easier. Missing any of these can become potential problems for your software project. So, address them early.
If you’re finding yourself needing assistance to shorten your time to market, we can seamlessly extend and amplify your existing team by providing laser-focused developers to help you move more quickly. We can also be your team by providing turnkey skill sets to make your vision a reality.