Time to market measures teams’ ability to quickly deliver new capabilities, services, or products. It’s one of the four key value areas of business agility and business value.
After longitudinal statistical analysis of over 100 organisations over a 5+ yr period, an increase in a team’s Agile IQ® is a leading indicator of an increase in Time to Market.
The reason why executives look at delivery speed is to minimise the amount of time it takes for the organisation to deliver value. Without actively managing time to market, the ability to sustainably deliver value in the future is unknown.
Questions that leaders need to continually re-evaluate for time to market are:
When many teams coordinate their work in an Agile Release Train, it is the Product Manager who is accountable for making the decision whether to release or not, particularly with respect to larger Features.
Improving Time to Market requires investment of time and money. A leader’s role in an agile environment is to ultimately shift from managing individuals and tasks, to building and sustaining an agile capability that improves time to market.
Agile leaders don't manage tasks, they build capability. Building capability requires an investment of time and money and requires monitoring the impacts of investment against the improvements in skills development, training and mentoring.
All teams need technical support to transfer manual tasks to technology that can do them faster, including marketing and finance teams.
Investments require metrics, beyond just "on time and on budget", to understand how much delivery capability is improving. Report on the impacts the investment is making, not the tasks or % complete of delivery-based milestones.
When designing teams, ensure that a manager’s role is clear – building capabilities over managing and delegating tasks with investment deliberately made by executive and product management.
To encourage adaptability, Evidence Based Management (EBM) by Scrum.org defines a list that highlights exemplar measures that might help an organisation to:
The time spent correcting product problems between:
This helps represent the impact of:
The smaller the size of features the faster they can be handled by an experienced team.
The fewer the items currently being worked on, the less spread thin the team. This results in faster throughput.
Free people up from repetitive tasks by using automated workflows, including testing and deployment.
Slice backlog items so they are only about a days total effort by the team to deliver to Done.
When teams are given guardrails to self-organise, time to decision-making is reduced and works flow faster.
Quality gates only identify defects, not build-in quality. Establish and improve the Definition of Done instead.
Do you know the cost of delay? Prioritisation by cost of delay gets the highest value out first.
If you cut corners on quality now, you’ll still have to deal with it later. Technical debt is a silent killer of quality.
Muda, Mura and Muri are key areas of waste to identify and systematically remove to improve the flow of delivery.
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