According to Gartner’s 2019 survey, only 55% of product launches happen on schedule. That means nearly half of companies are experiencing costly delays. And for those companies, the consequences are severe.
If your launch gets delayed by even a few months, you risk missing critical windows of opportunity in the market. Your competitors will swoop in to meet customer needs before you do. By the time you launch, the customer wants may have shifted. You’ll struggle to gain traction.
But rushing a subpar product also has consequences. You’ll waste money on products customers don’t want. You’ll damage your brand reputation. And you still may not meet your goals.
The dilemma is real. You need to innovate faster to stay competitive. But you can’t compromise on quality, or it will all be for nothing.
In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to accelerate product development without sacrificing quality. You’ll learn practical steps to shave months off your timeline without hurting your chances of success.
How to Get Your Product to Market Faster and Beat the Competition
- Enhancing Product Development Efficiency
- Establishing Key Priorities for Feature Development
- Improving Customer Satisfaction Through Accelerated Market Entry
- Launching Cutting-Edge Features with Customer-Centric Focus
Step 1 – Enhancing Product Development Efficiency
Getting your product to market faster than competitors can give you a significant advantage. One of the best ways to do this is to enhance product development efficiency.
Product development efficiency is the ability to bring a product to market in the shortest possible time while still maintaining high-quality standards. It is important to note that efficiency is not about cutting corners or sacrificing quality. Instead, it is about finding ways to streamline the product development process and eliminate waste.
According to research, when employees are clear about their roles, they tend to be 77% higher in work productivity than less informed workers.
When each team member knows what they’re responsible for, there’s less confusion and wasted time. It also prevents redundant work and guarantees that all individuals strive for a shared objective.
For example, a software development team might have the following roles:
- Product manager: Tasked with shaping the product’s vision and ensuring it aligns with user requirements.
- Software engineer: Accountable for creating, designing, and testing the software.
- QA engineer: Responsible for quality assurance, testing the software to guarantee it meets quality benchmarks.
Every team member must have a clear understanding of their role and how it contributes to the overall process. This clarity promotes effective collaboration, ensures that everyone aligns with the project’s goals, and enables each team member to make meaningful contributions to the development of the product.
Finally, regularly review your product development process to identify areas where it can be streamlined or optimized. It could involve using automation tools, implementing new workflows, or training team members on new skills.
One way to proactively identify areas for improvement is to use a kanban board. By looking at the kanban board, team members can identify bottlenecks and areas where the process can improve.
If you’re in search of a top-notch Kanban Board, be sure to explore Chisel’s offering. Chisel’s Kanban Board provides a clear visual representation of the features currently in development, those in progress, and those earmarked for future development. It’s an invaluable tool for effective project management and tracking.
Step 2 – Establishing Key Priorities for Feature Development
Timely product launches and outperforming competitors are crucial goals for businesses. Fundamental to achieving this is prioritizing product features and functionalities, ensuring focus on impacts, and streamlining development. Proper prioritization illuminates the most impactful aspects deserving of resource allocation.
Several insights inform priority-setting:
Understand Your Target Audience
As Philip Kotler “There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market.”
Thoroughly comprehend target demographics. Who are your customers? What are their pain points? What customer needs are you planning to address. Deep audience knowledge reveals resonant features. For example, if developing project management for collaborators, live tools optimizing cooperation deserve priority.
Conduct ROI Analysis
Assess the anticipated return on investment (ROI) for each feature. Which features are you expecting to yield the highest revenue or exert the most substantial influence on user engagement?
Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine where your development resources should get allocated. Features with a high ROI should be at the top of your priority list. For instance, e-commerce search ease potentially boosting sales merits priority.
Analyze the Market and Your Competitors
Keep a close eye on your competition. What features are they offering, and how successful are they with these features? Analyze the market trends and identify gaps in the offerings of your competitors.
Suppose you notice that a particular feature is trending and your competitors are not offering it yet. In that case, that’s an opportunity for you to stand out by prioritizing its development.
For example, if you’re developing a mobile app, and you notice that your competitors are not offering a dark mode feature, you could prioritize the development of this feature to give your app a competitive advantage.
Collect User Feedback
Your existing users or potential customers are an invaluable source of information. Collect feedback through surveys, user interviews, and user testing.
What do they like and dislike about your current product? What features are they requesting or complaining about? By paying attention to your users, you can obtain valuable insights into the features that are most significant for them.
For example, you could send a survey to your existing users asking them to rank the features of your product in order of importance. You could also conduct user interviews to learn more about their pain points and needs.
Want to streamline your feedback management process? Then, you need to check Chisel’s User Surveys tool. With this tool, you can create a new survey from pre-existing templates to save time for your team.
Alternatively, you can build a survey from scratch, tailoring it to your needs and requirements. Chisel’s approach places a strong emphasis on offering you the flexibility you need to manage feedback effectively.
Consider Technical Feasibility
Prioritization isn’t just about what your users want. It’s also about what your development team can realistically deliver within a reasonable timeframe. Consider the technical feasibility of each feature. Some features may be more complex to implement than others, which should get factored into your prioritization process.
For example, suppose you’re developing a new feature for your product that requires a lot of custom development. In that case, you may need to prioritize other easier features to implement.
Use an MVP Approach
Sometimes, it’s better to start with a minimum viable product (MVP) and then iterate. An MVP includes only the essential features needed to bring your product to market. This approach can help you launch faster and gather user feedback to refine your product. Once your MVP is live, you can prioritize additional features based on user reactions and needs.
Let us say you’re developing a new e-commerce platform. You could start with an MVP that includes only the core features, such as product browsing, checkout, and customer support. Once your MVP is live, you can collect user feedback and prioritize developing additional features like wishlists, product reviews, and social media integration.
Establish a Scoring System
Create a scoring system or framework that assigns numerical values to different features based on criteria such as impact, cost, and strategic alignment. This systematic approach can provide a clear, data-driven basis for making decisions on feature prioritization.
For instance, you could create a scoring system that assigns a value of 1 to 5 for each criterion, with five being the highest. You could then multiply the values for each criterion to get an overall score for each feature. The features with the highest scores would be the highest priority.
By prioritizing intelligently, products more rapidly satisfy customer needs, distancing competition along the way.
Chisel employs the RICE prioritization framework to assist you in this process. This framework allows you and your team members to assign scores to features or products based on your perspectives and criteria. It’s a valuable tool for making informed decisions about prioritizing tasks and projects.
Step 3 – Improving Customer Satisfaction Through Accelerated Market Entry
A more expedited approach to entering the market can assist you in drawing in, involving, and retaining customers by offering the products and services they desire precisely when they desire them.
Several ways exist to improve your go-to-market strategy and speed up your product launches. One crucial step is to prioritize your features and focus on developing the most essential features first. It will help you get your product to market faster and start collecting user feedback sooner.
Another important step is to use effective project management tools and processes. It will assist you in maintaining organization and staying on course, even when you’re concurrently handling multiple projects.
Here are some specific examples of how you can use faster go-to-market to improve customer satisfaction:
- Launch new products and features faster. It will give your customers the products and services they want when they want them.
- Respond to customer feedback more quickly. If you can quickly implement customer feedback, it will show your customers that you’re listening to them and value their input.
- Fix bugs and issues more quickly. If you can quickly fix bugs and issues, it will improve the overall customer experience.
- Keep your customers informed of your progress. Let your customers know what you’re working on and when they can expect to see new products and features. It will help to build excitement and anticipation for your upcoming launches.
Here are some additional tips for improving your go-to-market strategy and speeding up your product launches:
- Use an agile development methodology. Agile development is an adaptable and repetitive method for software development that can expedite bringing your products to market.
- Automate as much as possible. Automating tasks such as testing and deployment can free up your team to focus on more strategic work.
- Outsource non-core tasks. If you have the budget, you can outsource non-core tasks like design, development, and support to other companies. It can help you to get your products to market faster without having to hire additional staff.
By following these tips, you can improve your go-to-market strategy and speed up your product launches.
Step 4 – Launching Cutting-Edge Features with Customer-Centric Focus
Once you have prioritized your features and developed them according to your product roadmap, it’s time to launch them to the world! But how do you do it in a customer-centric way and ensure that your users are excited about and adopt your new features?
A customer-centric approach to launching new features puts the customer first and foremost. It entails understanding your customers’ needs and then designing and launching features that meet those needs. It also means being transparent with your customers about new features and getting their feedback early and often.
Here are some tips for launching cutting-edge features with a customer-centric focus:
- Communicate with your customers early and often. Let them know about the new features you are developing and get their feedback throughout the process.
- Create a launch plan. It should include a timeline for launching the features, as well as a communication plan for how you will let your customers know about them.
- Soft launch the features to a small group of customers. It will allow you to test the features and get feedback before launching them to the general public.
- Make sure your customer support team is all set. Launching new features can often lead to a surge in customer support tickets. Make sure your team is ready to answer questions and resolve any issues that may arise.
- Measure the results of your launch. Monitor critical metrics like user adoption, engagement, and satisfaction. This data will provide insights into how your customers are utilizing the new features and enable you to make enhancements in the future.
Let us look at some examples of how companies have successfully launched cutting-edge features with a customer-centric focus:
- Netflix regularly releases new features and content to keep its customers engaged. For example, Netflix recently launched a new feature called “Downloads for You” that automatically downloads personalized TV shows and movies to customers’ devices for offline viewing.
- Amazon is constantly innovating and adding new features to its Prime membership program. For example, Amazon recently launched a new feature called “Try Before You Buy” that allows Prime members to try on select clothing items before paying for them.
- Google continually introduces fresh functionalities to its productivity tools, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. As an illustration, Google recently rolled out a new feature named “Smart Compose,” which offers pertinent words and phrases as suggestions to Gmail users while they’re typing.
To craft a well-structured strategy for your product launch, you require an efficient product roadmap. This is where high-quality product management software like Chisel comes into play.
Chisel offers an exclusive Roadmap Pillar featuring tools such as Release View and Timeline View, which are indispensable. They enable you to plan and execute your product launches precisely and effectively.
Companies with a well-defined product launch process tend to enjoy significantly better outcomes, with a 10% higher “launch success rate” and three times higher median revenue growth rates, making it evident that having a structured approach is crucial.
Although people have advised you to launch the product faster, you hardly find any guidance on how to bring your product to market faster. There have been proven data as we discussed above that corroborated the fact that accelerated product launch is extremely important. That is why we have created this article.
Throughout the article, we explored various strategies to enhance product development efficiency, prioritize critical features, improve customer satisfaction through accelerated market entry, and launch cutting-edge features with a customer-centric focus. These strategies are fundamental in reducing time-to-market and gaining a competitive edge.
To further aid in smoother product launches, we recommend using efficient product management tools like Chisel. Chisel offers a range of features, including the exclusive Product Roadmap Pillar, Team Radar Pillar, and Product Feedback tools, all designed to help you develop and launch successful customer-centric products.
By utilizing such tools, you can streamline your product development process and increase your chances of success in the market.
For more information and to explore Chisel’s offerings, sign up for the free forever version to see how it can help you achieve your product launch goals and stay ahead of the competition.