Angelo Sorbello, is the Founder of Astro Capital OU, a group of fast-growing online brands.
The faster you can develop a product, the sooner it gets to market, and the more sales you make. Your brand improves its market position and credibility by beating competitors to the punch.
I have rolled out several digital products in the past. I cannot overstate how important it is to speed up digital product development. It is important, however, not to sacrifice product quality.
This list of proven strategies will help you achieve those things.
#1: Adopt an Agile Project Management and Development Method
There are many benefits to agile working. The iterative approach to development allows for a shorter time to market. You also enjoy better clarity and understanding for external stakeholders.
This video offers a simple explanation of the theory behind agile project management.
Utilising this approach will result in an MVP (minimum viable product). You can distribute this to targeted potential customers for regular feedback.
This in turn informs the next development sprint and so on. Moira Alexander further explains the benefits of agile project management here.
Leading digital product studio Bothrs has used this methodology for years, allowing them to design & ship digital experiences in weeks instead of months.
#2: Don’t Skimp Out On Project Documentation
It may be tempting to cut out developing anything that isn’t part of the core product to improve time to market. But documentation should never be cut, skimped on, overlooked, or undervalued.
Recording decisions, coding logic, and considerations for future development are important. They go hand-in-hand with the iterative nature of agile project management. Every pass through an area will benefit from the documentation of the last pass.
Bringing new team members up to speed is also a hell of a lot easier. Clear written documentation to refer to rather than having to hold their hand every step of the way is a big bonus.
Here is a more in-depth explanation of the importance of product documentation.
There are also numerous articles on Hacker Noon which further explore project documentation.
#3: Utilise Testing Automation
New product versions are even more commonplace in an agile development model. This necessitates the need for more testing to deal with identified issues. Automating testing means you don’t
have to get your staff to do; you can utilise them elsewhere.
#4: Identify Your Target Customers and The Problems They’re Facing
Conduct research to find out who your target customers are. Utilise Reddit, social media platforms, and conduct targeted surveys. From there, produce customer personas.
What problems are your personas facing that your software is aiming to overcome? What are the benefits of your software to your personas?
You, and every member of your team, need to know who the product is made for and why they will be using the product. The answers to these questions should drive your design and development decisions.
Here is an excellent article on why creating user personas are necessary.
#5: Work Culture – Non-Stop Learning, Staff Engagement, and Empowerment
You can have the best tools, the leanest methods, and the most pristine documentation. They won’t get you anywhere without engaged, driven, capable team members.
UX designers will be the best people to make user experience decisions. The software engineers will be the best people to make coding decisions. It makes sense right? Make sure they know that. Empower them. Give them ownership of their area of expertise. Encourage them to add their full value to your product.
This video explains it better than I ever could.
So there you have it. 5 proven essentials for speeding up digital product development. I hope you’ve found value in the points and associated links.
Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.