Product Development

The Pressing Need to Accelerate Time-to-Market

In today’s fast-paced environment, it is important to build and release new information products quickly. Product development, as a strategy, must emphasize iterative design and development, and prioritize high-value strategic sprints. This way, companies can quickly release and learn from smaller iterations, lock in key customers early and see if there is traction before allocating more resources.

A lot of companies have adopted agile practices to increase speed-to-market and embrace change. But without proper guidance, development teams can easily lose sight of the bigger picture and miss out on the promised benefits. Confining agile to a rigid set of practices instead of exercising judgement, spelling out too much detail too soon, or oversimplifying complex situations, can result in half-baked products that have limited revenue potential or in misconstrued experiences that send the wrong message to the marketplace.

Core Principles to Maximize Business Value

To find the right balance among customer value, quality, speed and cost—and show a positive Return on Investment quickly—our team follows three key principles:

1. Define a “Marketable” MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
With so many possible features—and often internal stakeholders involved—it is critical to define an MVP in order to market test products quickly. But an MVP is not the smallest collection of features or a tool to get customer feedback. It is the “minimum” product that will deliver real value to a target market—typically early adopters. To define a “marketable” MVP, we leverage prior product strategy work and anchor the prioritization process in models such as the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas.

2. Place User Experience at the Core
Today’s B2B users demand consumer-like experiences. They are increasingly wearing their B2C hats to the office, expecting Amazon-like experiences from the applications and tools they use on a daily basis. So we continuously ask what tasks or “jobs” users need to accomplish and how we can make it easier, instead of packing content, bells and whistles into clumsy user interfaces. We carefully consider the journey users take with your data and information, every step of the way. These, in turn, inform product architecture, features and design decisions. Customer insights not technology capabilities inform our work.

3. Leverage Existing Technology
Developing digital products is no longer about creating monolithic, bespoke or standalone applications. Cloud computing, open source, API and other technologies are now allowing companies to reduce development time and leverage existing technology. Organizations can build application layers on top of their legacy systems, leverage open source technology for product components, or integrate with technology partners. When developing new products, we consider all these options to accelerate development and ultimately time-to-revenue.

And we apply these three principles to all our work. Whether clients decide to outsource 100% of their development, match us with members of their team or retain us in an advisory role.