To overcome some of the challenges of taking new products to market (see part 1), we can identify four actionable dimensions anyone should take into consideration when designing a plan to increase your business value delivery speed effectively:
As I stated before, People is one of the core elements. It is the first thing you should keep in mind. Wisely identify and choose those who are keen on learning new things. This is crucial to delivering a project which aligns with your vision. Once you have recruited these people, organise your colleagues into multidisciplinary teams. This should not be optional. After all, if you define an infrastructure that doesn't fit the architecture needs, the development does not align with the infrastructure or your brand new UX wireframes are too complex (technically barely achievable), you'll fall at the first hurdle.
People need a methodology framework to transform business requirements into productive code. Nowadays, agile methods are the most common approach, providing you with an effective fail-fast option. Scrum, Kanban or XP all have their pros/cons, but it's important to remember there is no right answer!
You now have people you need and a way of working. Next, you must provide your team with the means to do their job. You have a wide range of options available in the market from different vendors which can be adapted to your team preferences: Java, .NET, Node, Go... Identify them and don't hesitate to provide them with the right tools. The better integrated, the better. User Experience (from the product design and implementation point of view) is vital to ensure a smooth collaboration between teams.
Finally, don't underestimate the amount of time that people will spend in: Requirements gathering, Development, Documentation, Unit Testing, Integrated Testing, Artefact generation and Deployment. One of your core values when designing a new software delivery process should be automation. Put it as a must from the very beginning, then choose the products and technologies that automate the most.
This is where the speed (and time/costs savings) will come from: People focused in doing tasks that we human add value to, rather than been snowed under repetitive, tedious tasks, automatable tasks. Which, in the end, drives people (back) to their comfort zone.
There are several problems stopping your company to be more effective in IT project delivery. Theses are mainly related to how we support people to embrace the changes this challenge requires.
People, Methodology, Tools and Automation are the four dimensions you should act on to ensure you can deliver at business speed.
Fail-fast approaches are fine, but you need to make some small yet coordinated changes to ensure success.
When success is achieved, it is essential that you spread the word within your company for others to work in the same way are doing. Also, their feedback is vital for you to improve. The more aligned people are, the more efficient a company is.
After all, which challenge would you want to face? Internal or external?