October 7, 2022

How to Use Low Code to Speed Up Time To Market


The old cliche says that "speed kills," but when it comes to software development, a lack of speed can turn out to be even more dangerous.

Failing to ship products and updates in a timely manner can frustrate customers, lead to cost overruns and ultimately cause a business to lose its competitive advantage. Even if you were first to market, you can quickly become an aging dinosaur if you can't keep up with changing conditions and demands.

So, how can you ensure you don't fall behind? It all comes down to:

  1. Monitoring and continually improving your time to market.
  2. Installing systems, processes and tools to encourage rapid development of a quality product.

In this blog post, we'll dive into time to market, best practices for incorporating low code into your product and, lastly, how to use AI to 50x your product design process.

What is Time to Market?

Time to market (TTM) is, broadly, the duration from an idea to a finished product. It's a critical metric in product development, measuring a company's agility and efficiency in transforming ideas into tangible, market-ready offerings.

TTM is not just a race against the clock; it encapsulates the entire journey of a product - from ideation, through design and development, to production and market launch. This metric is a litmus test for a company's ability to navigate the complex landscape of research and development, supply chain management, regulatory compliance and marketing strategies.

However, a focus on speed should not compromise the quality and integrity of the product. Businesses must strike a delicate balance, ensuring that while they expedite their TTM, they also uphold standards of quality.

TTM is not just about being fast. It's about being strategically efficient and effective in bringing new, relevant and high-quality products to the market in a timely manner.

How to Measure Time to Market in Software

Depending on the software you are building, the way you would measure TTM might look slightly different. Here are four tips for structuring your measurement.

1. Define Start and End Points

First, clearly define the project's initiation and completion points. The initiation is typically marked by formal project approval or the beginning of development, while completion is signified by the software’s release to users. This release could take various forms, such as a beta version, a full public launch or deployment for client use.

2. Segment the Development Process

Break down the software development lifecycle into distinct phases, such as research, design, coding, testing and deployment. This segmentation aids in identifying which stages are the most time-consuming and where there are opportunities for streamlining and efficiency improvements.

3. Analyze and Benchmark

Compare the total time taken from start to finish with industry standards, competitor timelines or past internal projects.

4. Use Project Management Tools to Simplify Measurement

Finally, it's important to use project management tools tailored for software development. These tools can track progress, provide real-time data and offer analytical insights. They play a significant role in accurately measuring and analyzing the TTM, allowing for more informed decision-making and continuous improvement in future projects.

Improving Time to Market With Process Improvements

As we mentioned above, one of the most effective ways to encourage a fast time to market is to adopt systems and processes that encourage rapid development.

Your measurement might reveal inefficiencies in different areas of the product development process, from research to ideation and deployment. Many of these can be improved with process adjustments or emphasis on communication.

Some of the most common process issues that can affect time to market are:

  • Poor communication and collaboration among teams.
  • Limited access to developers and/or necessary technology.
  • Changing requirements to the product after development is already in progress.
  • Extensive testing phases.
  • Challenges in scaling the development process or technology stack.

Many of these can be addressed by recognizing the bottlenecks in your metrics and proactively taking steps to eliminate them. For example, a burndown chart can conclusively show how disruptive a mid-sprint change to product requirements can be. This can be the basis for a data-driven team to adjust their processes and stay disciplined.

How Low Code Development Can Improve Time to Market

Remember the old phrase, "Work smarter, not harder?" That's what low code platforms do.

Low-code development platforms minimize the need for extensive hand-coding, providing a visual development environment where developers and even business users can drag and drop application components, connect them and create complex applications quickly. By abstracting and automating the coding process, low code platforms enable faster prototype development, iteration and deployment.

This drastically improves time to market by allowing teams to focus on innovation and user experience rather than getting bogged down by the intricacies of code syntax and boilerplate code.

Low code solutions also allow you to:

  • Set up your project quickly
  • Make it scalable out of the box
  • Keep the ability to add any custom code
  • Speed up the development by 3-5X
  • Include non-technical people ("citizen developers") in the process, freeing up your technical resources for tougher projects
  • Increase developers' productivity
  • Reduce the number of bugs by using tested components
  • And reduce technical debt by using a scalable architecture

All of this leads to quicker time to market.

But usually, you don't just want the speed. You want stability and scalability as well. And most importantly, you want to keep complete control over your project and your codebase.

Low code adoption is nothing new, and often, no-code and low-code platforms will offer you the initial speed and shorten the time to market. But once you're on the market, you realize you can never leave. And your project is locked in with these platforms.

This is not the case with 8base.

It is built on top of existing popular technologies developers worldwide are already using (AWS, JS/TS, MySQL, etc.). So it integrates with existing systems, and if you ever need to move, you can continue developing the project using the most widespread technologies today.

In short, the project and the codebase are entirely under your control.

Time To Market In App Development

Anyone who has ever developed web apps knows the struggles of maintaining a growing frontend project. The project complexity grows in an attempt to make the apps as interactive as possible. And with growing complexity, the chances of more bugs also increase.

To battle this complexity, developers use frameworks like React that help handle a growing app. And for a project to remain scalable, vast amounts of boilerplate code must be introduced.

These frameworks are also tools that are used to increase productivity. And they replaced less productive tools that came before.

The same can be said now for low-code platforms. They are replacing previous tools because of increased productivity and faster development. And any project that is not using low-code platforms today is losing the market competition game.

And using better tools is the easiest way to win in the market because:

  • You don't need any genius insights
  • No unfair advantage
  • Don't need the most innovative developers
  • Or the most expensive talent
  • Neither do you need to push the physical limits of your dev team

All you need to do is pick the best tools for the job. And automatically, without even trying, you win against all those using inferior or outdated tools.

And today, the best tools for the job are low-code platforms.

Low Code Time To Market Examples

Here are a couple of examples of many case studies where 8base was able to directly speed up the time to market.

The first example is Livo. A real estate management SaaS that managed to break through into a sector that was resisting emerging technologies for a long time. And one of the most significant contributing factors to that achievement was simplicity and speed.

The second example is LeadVolt. Lead management and CRM solution for the insurance industry. But the most impressive part was that the founders could see the development progress in real-time. This means they could accurately assess how the development team is doing. Which used to be much more challenging for founders who did not know how to code themselves.

This shows that you can start a successful tech company without being a developer. And it is very encouraging news for anyone still on the fence and thinking about the viability of the low-code platform. The future definitely belongs to them.

The X-Factor in 2024 and Beyond: How to Use AI Tools In Product Development?

One of the most common challenges that founders face is simply putting too much on their shoulders. It's completely understandable — your product is your baby, and especially in those formative stages, you want to be sure that everything is exactly as it should be.

But that's the problem. When founders set themselves up as the "single point of failure" for very important concepts like product strategy, it means that things like regulatory requirements, features or dependencies might get missed throughout the process. 

That, in turn, can negatively impact time to market.

Enter: AI

We are proud to introduce Archie, our AI product architect. Archie transforms the initial stages of product development by making digital product specification and design up to 50 times faster (no joke!).

The way it works is simple. Give Archie a simple prompt describing your project idea. Archie will quickly get to work, generating a Digital Blueprint for you. The blueprint is a comprehensive plan that includes everything from your data model and application logic to monetization models, UX design and user personas.

Archie helps founders and product managers overcome the common hurdle of writer's block by offering insights and suggestions that you might not have initially considered. It enhances creativity by identifying additional elements that could enhance the project's value and feasibility. This all combines to improve time to market by helping you set comprehensive requirements at the outset of a project. You'll see a lot fewer mid-sprint curveballs from missed or changed requirements.

Archie's ability to produce thorough project specifications addresses one of the biggest challenges in software development: the risk of poor specification leading to project failures. By foreseeing potential compliance and security issues and enhancing communication between stakeholders, Archie positions projects for success from the start.

And best off? It's free to get started. Give Archie a try here.

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