No matter how groundbreaking or revolutionary your new product or idea is, if delivery is delayed, you could lose out on major profits. Or worse yet – miss the market completely and find yourself chasing a lesser competitor to the finish line.
As this classic study found, when a product is six months late to market, it earns a third less profit over five years. If released on time, even with product development 50 percent over budget, profits are only cut by 3.5 percent.
Time is money, and it’s certainly true in product development.
Regardless of what you offer, to remain competitive, your products must be valuable to customers and be of the highest quality…and you must deliver those products quickly.
“A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.” – Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft
Planning for and reacting to opportunities quickly
The key here is to optimize the development and delivery process, focusing on accelerating your product roadmap and time-to-market. This is not only important to remain competitive but to also boost profits and speed up your overall business growth.
Additionally, companies that win are able to quickly act on opportunities that present themselves in the moment – such as the coronavirus. Although many businesses struggled to pivot during these uncertain times, other companies thrived based on their digital acceleration capabilities. Zoom is a prime example of such company showcasing how speed to delivery in a specific window of time and opportunity can lead to explosive growth.
To continue on that example, the pandemic also reshaped people’s shopping preference. Data from IBM shows the pandemic accelerated the shift from physical stores to digital shopping by approximately five years. If teams weren’t able to react with their product offerings, they either lost money or left valuable dollars on the table.
Product delivery isn’t just about speed
For leaders who want to beat their competition to market or expand at all costs, it’s imperative to revisit the importance of quality and customer value. Consider the example of Mosquito Magnet. When American Biophysics (the inventor) attempted to scale delivery to match their growth and market demand, they failed to protect the product quality. This eventually cost a loss in customers and ultimately the fold of the business. When it comes to product delivery, the golden rule for growth is speed AND quality.
Great product development encompasses both.
When you are able to focus on accelerating product delivery while continuing to maintain quality, you benefit from increased overall market share, a greater ROI, and ultimately a faster growth trajectory.
The keys to product delivery
Let’s examine how to accelerate your enterprise’s product roadmap and product delivery process:
1. Develop a well-defined product development and delivery strategy
Research indicates companies that persistently pursue significant strategic moves throughout each phase of the economic cycle increase their odds of outperforming competitors.
By developing a detailed strategy, your team can follow steps within your set strategic framework that will speed up product delivery.
- To get started, know your target audience and invest in market research. Who are you developing products for? Focus on the customer’s needs to develop and deliver products of value.
- Based on that target audience, create a prototype to share with consumers.
- Gain feedback to appreciate an outside-inside perspective and understand the features that matter most. Iterate based on the feedback and ensure that your weak points are well understood so the team can adapt and improve as needed
Get a copy of the CEO’s Definitive Guide to Digital Product Strategy and Management
2. Ensure team and technology alignment
Are you or your team asking questions like:
- Could projects be completed in half the time if we had access to more efficient IT tools?
- Were past roadmaps created based on data and research from just one product manager or data point?
- Why did our most recent go-to-market campaign fail to convert?
If these are the types of concerns you currently have, you should reassess both team and IT alignment within your company. Even though separate teams focus on unique tasks and objectives, everyone needs to work towards the same strategic goal and collaborate along the way. The aim here is to avoid miscommunication while simultaneously encouraging greater productivity and creativity.
Not only will this lead to a more rapid and seamless product delivery process, but you can also improve overall automation. Taking this approach will allow you to remove potentially harmful silos and work collectively as a well-oiled machine.
3. Use agile methodologies
The ultimate goal of agile methodologies for product management is to deliver value to customers quickly.
Think of this approach as being highly adaptive, prioritizing evolutionary development which allows you to adjust your plan and strategy as you move through the product development and delivery process.
To begin, create an agile roadmap, setting monthly or quarterly commitments. These commitments are not set in stone — they can and should be regularly adjusted to accommodate change. Your initial roadmap should be built based on your overall vision to deliver meaningful value to customers.
4. Leverage the support and vision of executive leaders
Executive leaders are responsible for establishing a clear vision, directing and guiding teams towards key objectives. This role is so important because it serves as a model that teams follow, creating a trickle-down effect.
Yes, your organization is only as strong as your team members collectively. However, successful product development requires strong leadership.
Some of the common traits that the most successful leaders share include:
- Passion for the product/service
- Broad and extensive functional and organizational knowledge
- Excellent judgment, leading to a strong product point of view
- A general understanding of technology
- The ability to delegate and to build high-functioning teams
Preparing for the future of product management
As we look to the future, it’s important to stay mindful of the latest trends and best practices. If you don’t, you risk being left behind.
The process of product management and product delivery has evolved greatly over the years — an evolution that will only continue.
CIOReview reported that in the last two years, the number of product management roles in the United States increased by 32 percent. A statistic which shows how vital effective product development and acceleration are to a company’s strategy and overall growth.
One key trend to keep in mind is the need for digital solutions. Products and their ecosystems, as well customer interactions, are becoming more complex. Digitalization supports a more seamless development process and positive user experience.
Digital Prism Advisors can help
We’ve seen first-hand the impact faster product delivery can have on an organization’s market success and continued business growth…and in the fast-paced world of digital business, it’s a competitive edge organizations can’t afford to pass up on.
Looking to accelerate your own product delivery and strategic business growth? Call us today!
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Jennifer Cardella, Chief Product & Delivery Officer
Jennifer is responsible for leading and facilitating the creation and delivery of products and services. She has nearly 20 years of experience and is passionate about customer-centric product management and technology, integration challenges, process improvement, and digital engagement strategies that build brands and transform customer experience.
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