The Easiest Ways to Reduce Product Development Expenses in 2023
As we head into 2023, economists, business owners, and customers are all discussing economic uncertainty. A study published by Bloomberg last month polled 28 economists and found that 70% predict a recession in 2023, up from 65% in November and just 30% in June.
But it’s not all bad news. If you develop products, now is the perfect time to identify the hidden waste in product development so that you can fix it.
As you know, product development is complex and includes many processes and steps, some of which are riddled with inefficiencies, resulting in late product launches, costly rework, and potential compliance issues. If you can isolate and fix these issues, it’s much easier to position yourself for whatever curveballs 2023 throws your way.
The real cost of late product launches
Late product launches aren’t just frustrating; they’re expensive. Research shows that a product delay costs roughly 15%-35% of the product’s net present value, which adds up fast. Additionally, according to Gartner:
- Nearly half of all product launches are delayed at least one month.
- Products that do launch on time are more likely than delayed products to meet internal targets within one year.
- Of the delayed launches, 20% fail to meet internal targets.
Late product launches are expensive, but why do they get delayed in the first place? The most common reasons, according to Gartner, include lack of a formal launch process, issues with product development (bugs, errors, and feature creep), failure to meet customer requirements, product quality issues, and more.
Behind the scenes, here are a few factors we see play into late product launches, expensive rework, and waste:
- Loss of valuable engineering hours. Your engineers are valuable resources. So when they spend far too much time on tedious manual documentation across disparate documents and tools, it’s expensive. Fixing inefficient workflows can save upwards of 80% of previously lost time.
- Disconnected cross-team collaboration. Disconnects across teams are one of the largest reasons for expensive waste. Recapturing this waste requires effective collaboration across the various stages of system development, from requirements to design, development, testing, and validation.
- Difficulty producing documents to prove compliance. Proving compliance requires speedy action. Digging up documents is time-consuming and frustrating, and if you can’t find the necessary information, it can result in costly compliance issues.
- Siloed tools and processes. Silos misalign teams and workflows and leave visibility gaps that can be linked to expensive rework and late product launches.
- Lack of traceability. A lack of traceability can result in finding errors late in the process, costing as much as 100x more to resolve compared to the expenses incurred if those issues had been identified earlier.
Of course, this list only scratches the surface of the hidden waste in product development that leads to late launches and expensive rework. So how do you fix it?
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Reclaiming hidden product development waste
Recapturing costly waste requires an easy-to-deploy solution that solves the major issues sabotaging a successful launch. Modernized requirements management software is designed to fix the exact problems at the root of these challenges. The right tool can help:
- Recapture wasted employee time. Without a modern requirements management solution, your highly skilled — and highly paid — workers can spend up to 40% of their time on tedious, unproductive tasks. Examples include searching for siloed information in static documents; dealing with manual or duplicate data; working with old, outdated document versions; and more. Implementing a requirements management solution saves up to two hours of productive work time per day.
- Reduce expensive rework. Rework creates setbacks when it comes to getting your products launched on time. An advanced requirements management solution can reduce rework by 40%-60%.
- Speed up review cycles. Slow review times can quickly derail on-time launches. A requirements management tool helps streamline review processes, enabling stakeholders to stay focused on the most relevant information, track participant progress, visualize critical information, and more.
- Identify defects earlier. A defect spotted late in product development can quickly throw you off schedule. A modernized requirements management solution helps remedy some of the most common issues, such as low stakeholder participation in requirements definition and validation, poor visibility into requirements challenges, and low-impact analysis. Jama Connect, for example, can reduce the number of requirements-related defects by 25%-40%.
- Solve the disconnects that slow you down. Ineffective collaboration creates a higher risk for errors; however, requirements management solves this challenge. One of our clients noted its testing team improved collaborative communication by 50%.
- Improve success with Live Traceability™. Live Traceabilityhelps your engineers view the most up-to-date and complete upstream and downstream information on any requirement, regardless of the development stage. You can also use live traceability to manage engineering processes through data, viewing performance in real-time.
A requirements management tool helps solve many challenges that create expensive waste, which is vital at any time, but especially during economic uncertainty. That’s because it empowers you to get ahead of what’s next.
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Staying a step ahead of economic uncertainty
We get it — you’re on the edge of a potential recession, and investing now feels like the opposite of “battening down the hatches” for an impending financial storm. But if you can factor in exactly how much you’re losing with late product launches and expensive reworks, you’ll quickly find that recapturing this waste is one of the best ways to prepare for the unknown.
Once you recapture these previously lost resources, you can leverage them in other business areas to secure a stronger competitive advantage in the market, improve agility, and reduce the risks associated with product defects or compliance issues. And these benefits will help you position yourself so you are stronger when you need to deal with whatever surprises the new year has in store.