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There’s nothing quite like interoffice panic when a product launch date is missed. Tensions are high and frustration increases by the hour. But more importantly, revenue is lost. The demand built around the launch date may never return to the same degree. Any PR efforts might be delayed as publishers wait for the launch to be official.

 

3 Ways to Improve Your Products Time to Market

Fortunately there is a wealth of information, tools and strategy for improving time to market for your product launch. Here’s what you need to never miss another launch date.

Strategy

Any product in the digital world will require significant software development. The past decade has provided innovations on that front with agile and scrum methodology and the formation of DevOps, which allows for continuous software delivery. Continuous software delivery allows for software releases multiple times a week, as opposed to the three to six months for a traditional release. The system also provides automated testing and maintenance. This means there is less emphasis on time to market as engineering teams can be flexible. McKinsey & Company provided a three-step approach to implementing DevOps.

  1. Simplify — Create one source of truth for all development discussions and ideas.
  2. Scale — The constant automated testing and transparency across teams allows for scale.
  3. Sustain — A DevOps system needs to be fully adopted and optimized .

Besides DevOps, find a balance between expediting your time to market and developing a winning product launch strategy. For example, you should develop conclusions about your target market and test them. Don’t wait to get customer feedback; this exercise should be done as soon as there is beta version available. Lastly, expect things to go wrong and be ready to pivot.

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing packages. We can help you achieve your business goals and in the process leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”

Tools for your product launch

There’s a variety of digital tools for enhancing time to market speed and effectiveness.

For SaaS apps and websites, InVision can be used to create specific mockups and designs for each webpage or product feature. This makes collaboration smooth and easy. Engineers and designers can create the initial prototype, then other stakeholders can jump in and provide feedback. This cuts down on updates following the official launch and gives the entire company insight into initiatives.

Additionally there are free and paid versions of project management software such as Trello and Asana, and smart spreadsheet tools like AirTable. Any product manager can create aSwiss army knife of software to optimize product development and delivery.

Product Lifecycle Management

Implementing these strategies and tools creates a system known as product lifecycle management (PLM). If your company lives off getting products to market quickly and creating new products often, enterprise PLM software is available. The leading vendors are Arena PLM, Autodesk Vault, and Omnify. As with other software solutions, the platforms automatically track and monitor product development stages. For example, you can automatically track labor cost, make sure resources won’t run out and get alerted when red flags occur.

Startups and soloprenuers will likely calculate these costs manually so they can stay under budget. But with the principles of DevOps and the vast world of SaaS tools out there, any entrepreneur can find ways to improve their time to market. 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

3 Examples of Experiential Marketing That You Can Learn From
Four Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
Facebook: Small Business Marketing Strategies that Work!
3 Simple Ways to Generate Business on LinkedIn
15 Website Mistakes You Want to Avoid (Part 1)
3 Ways to Increase Your Business Without Resorting to SEO
How to Target Large Clients with Little to No Money
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communications that still look fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

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Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing packages. We can help you achieve your business goals and in the process leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”
Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Although many people think that money is the only incentive that motivates workers, this is far from the truth. There are numerous other factors that contribute to employees’ happiness at the workplace. The following tips can help make employees happy without needing to give them a pay raise.

 

How to Keep Your Employees Happy Without a Pay Raise

Ensure Their Voices are Heard

Employees tend to feel appreciated when they are given a chance to air their opinions and get heard. After all, you hired them for certain positions because they were qualified. Although you cannot implement every employee’s ideas, it is important to ask for their opinion as they can point out an overlooked solution. Giving your employees the space to voice their opinions will help them become more creative and in the process, improve their skills.

Performance Bonus

This does not necessarily have to be of monetary value. You can reward your best performing employees with things like travel packages, or other perks. Shopping vouchers are also a great bonus. If you like, you can also offer them monetary bonuses on top of their salaries.

Work-Life Balance

This is the best mechanism to keep your employees happy, especially if there are complaints regarding the lack of pay rises. Although some of the items that offer a work-life balance require money, there are alternatives that don’t have to cost you a thing. These include offering your employees flexible working hours and giving them a day off when they have family obligations and events.

Communication

Keep communication channels open to all your employees regardless of how high your position is. This shows them that they have a say in the firm’s affairs, which adds a human element to it. Giving your employees the feeling of access to the highest authority makes them feel valued since they know their woes will always be listened to. If you are worried about being bombarded with lots of calls and emails, you will be surprised to learn that few employees actually use the option.

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing packages. We can help you achieve your business goals and in the process leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”

Free Training and Courses

A workplace is not only meant for earning a living but it’s also a learning environment. Employees tend to learn many things involved with work life, including time management and teamwork. On top of these, as an employer, you can plan for your employees to get free learning courses and training programs in order to improve their skills.

Such skills will elevate your company’s standards and also lure more employees into taking advantage of the free courses, which are usually very costly to an individual.

Make Gratitude Part of Your Culture

Showing gratitude is a sure way to keep your employees feeling happy, encouraged and satisfied with what they do. A simple thank you will not only make your employee smile but also encourage them to work even harder the next time.

Although you might not be in a position to increase their salaries, it will cost you nothing to appreciate and show gratitude towards their efforts. Making gratitude a part of your culture will keep your employees happy, more engaged and less likely to jump ships. However, ensure you always show gratitude in a timely manner and don’t play favorites.

Offer More Holiday Time

Though a pay rise might be unfeasible, adding a few more days to the holiday period for your top employees might be. Even a slight extension in holidays may prove very appealing. Just remember that you don’t have to do this for every employee; it should be an incentive for the top performers.

Treat them like People, Not Resources

Employees are not like resources that can be arranged in a particular way or treated the same way. Although it is paramount to ensure your employees fulfil their duties, it is equally important to develop a relationship with them to ensure they feel valued.

Humans have emotional, psychological and emotional needs. Things like fun events and dinners can serve the purpose of making them feel appreciated. Little gestures like a get-well-soon card for an ill employee or flowers on special occasions could work wonders.
The above tips will ensure that your employees remain happy and their productivity is bound to increase.

Author: Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.

If you want help establishing yourself and/or getting new business, contact Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group. He can help you reach your goals through offering ideas, suggestions and/or graphic and website design.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

3 Examples of Experiential Marketing That You Can Learn From
Four Tips to Get More Visitors to Your Website
Facebook: Small Business Marketing Strategies that Work!
3 Simple Ways to Generate Business on LinkedIn
15 Website Mistakes You Want to Avoid (Part 1)
3 Ways to Increase Your Business Without Resorting to SEO
How to Target Large Clients with Little to No Money
Is There Still Gold in Cold Calling?

This article is published by The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communications that still look fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

google-plus-jpeg      linkedin-logo      fb-logo      Twitter_Logo      pinterest-logo

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Do you need help growing your business? Click here to check out our website design and marketing packages. We can help you achieve your business goals and in the process leave your competition shaken and wondering, “Now, what do we do?”
Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

© 2013 - The Sherwood Group
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