• Step 3b of Improving Your Speed-to-Market Is:
    • Implementation of Speed-to-Market Pilot Project(s)
  • There are six elements that comprise successful completion of this step
    1. Planning: plan the work, work the plan
      • A project plan is essential and must include learning and improving activities.
      • A project plan is essential for each product development project. 
        • This plan must include activities aimed at learning and improving. These include recording changes the team faced and comparing assumptions in the project plan with what happened as well as comparing what actually happened with what was set out in the plan.
        • Watch Out: When setting time-to-market (1) take into account the familiarity of the project team with the type of product and the intended market when setting a Speed-to-Market; and, (2) do not set a Speed-to-Market that pushes your product development process beyond what’s feasible for the project team and the allocated resources.
        • Watch Out: When setting time-to-market take into account Manufacturing considerations such as how and where the product will be made, and the supply chain, to avoid delays in product launch.
    2. Project Teams
      • People have get to know each other and how to work together.
        • There are many tools (KAI, Myer-Briggs, de Bono thinking hats, Belbin team roles, etc.) that can help the team understand themselves and each other.  Use them to launch the team and to enhance communication.
      • Do not change team members during the project.
        • Changing team members during the project usually causes significant delays. 
          • These delays are much larger if the project leader is changed. 
        • Also ensure that key team members are only working on one or two projects at a time.
    3. Leadership Teams
      • Ensure sufficient resources are allocated, there is a good understanding of where the money is going.
        • Sufficient resources (people with appropriate expertise and experience, money, equipment, facilities, etc.) are allocated to enable the project team to meet the planned time-to-market
        • There is a good understanding of where the money is going, the amounts that are needed and when they are needed
        • Watch Out: If the leadership team says they support a project, then they must provide the resources the project team needs to meet the planned time-to-market.  If there is doubt about the resources needed, then the leadership team must trust the project team.
    4. Communication and Decision-making
      • Communication within the project team and between the project and leadership teams are critical.
        • Focus on open, effective communication
      • Timely decisive decisions are critical area for improving Speed-to-Market. 
        • The leadership team must make timely and clear decisions
      • Empower the product development project team to make project decisions. 
        • Decisions should be made at the lowest possible organizational level.
        • Empowering the product development project team to make decisions about project-related matters has a significant effect on product development speed. 
      • Watch Out: The leadership team must make themselves available when the project team needs their input.  This is especially important when the project team runs into problems.
    5. Training and Coaching
      • Essential for maintaining the effectiveness of the product development process and improving Speed-to-Market.
        • Of both project teams and business leadership teams
        • Leadership training is critical for success. 
          • This training should cover how to make group decisions for projects; how to deal with uncertainty; and, how to talk to project teams clearly and efficiently.
      • Watch Out: Specialist product development coaches can provide training as well as coaching to the project team and business leadership during each project.  Such coaches ensure that lessons learned about speed/Speed-to-Market are transferred across the organization.
    6. Post-project reviews
      • Post-project reviews are extremely important. 
        • Both the product development and business leadership teams must be included. 
        • The review must be carried out by some-one external to both teams and who is trusted by both teams.
        • Include discussion of the measured time-to-market for every project. 
          • This includes assessing the accuracy of estimates of timing in the project plan as well as measuring the overall Speed-to-Market using your chosen start and end points. 
          • Make sure the end point is well defined and applied consistently for each business.