Mobile app disruption is everywhere as new products are being constantly deployed. To compete, companies of all types are turning to rapid development of their software applications1, releasing new versions and products more and more often – even daily.
Increasing the rate of a company’s innovation is challenging for many product development executives and their companies. Everyone is looking for a way to stay ahead of – or just catch up with – their competitors. Yet, it’s been estimated that a third of all software product development initiatives are delivered late. Most of these delays are caused by three main bottlenecks:
- The incredible complexity of products;
- The sheer volume of new products;
- And the increasing number of stakeholders in every product.
Let’s start with complexity. Over the past 20 years complexity in products has increased exponentially. I am astonished, for instance, by how many more fuses my 2014 Toyota Highlander has than my 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer had. There are at least 10 times as many! And as products become more complex, the list of requirements becomes lengthier and takes longer to gather.
The number of products under development at any given company continues to grow as well. As modern marketers segment and refine their audiences, they see the need for different versions of the same value proposition. This, in turn, requires development executives to maintain, extend, and sunset more and more products.
Finally, the number of stakeholders involved in product development is also increasing2. For instance, marketing has a much larger role today in deciding what to launch and what requirements should be included in a launch. During the development of a new product, all these stakeholders can disrupt progress and invite scope creep.
The rate of innovation has never been faster than it is today. Companies need to identify the bottlenecks in their organizations and then adopt new ways of working together to solve complex product initiatives. More often than not, product complexity, the number of products and the number of stakeholders has a lot to do with prohibiting faster innovation. Once bottlenecks are identified, an organization has a much greater ability to overcome their specific innovation shortcomings.
1.Forrest.er Research 2014, “The State of Modern Product Delivery”
2.Gartner 2012, “By 2016 the CMO will outspend the CTO”