Time to Market

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Description of Time to Market. Explanation.


Time to Market

Definition Time to Market. Description.

Time to Market (TTM) is the time required to realize a product: from the generation of the idea to its launch on the market.  It includes the full cycle of design, development and delivery of the new product to the market.

The concept of Time to Market originates in 1995 as an important variable of the quality management process. When it became clear that consumer preferences were subject to quick changes and Product Life Cycles shortened, companies had to consider timing as an essential element of their product development approach.

Advantages of a Quick TIme To Market.

The main benefits of a quicker TTM are:

  1. Premium Price, as a consequence of being the first market mover. When a company launches a product that is not yet available in the competitors’ product portfolio the market justifies a higher price.
  2. Competitive Advantage, by being the first to launch a product.
  3. Longer Life Cycle of the Product.
  4. Earlier Break-Even, Higher Return on Investment and profitability.

Limitations of the Time To Market Concept. Disadvantages

A shortened time to market is not always the best solution. Since most new product development projects follow formalized models, such as Stage-Gate or Six Sigma, a reduction of TTM can imply skipping or rushing through one or more of steps of that model. Many experts believe that this reduction can decrease the quality of the whole product or of some of its characteristics.

For that reason, a Trade-off or Synthesis between a short TTM and TQM can be considered (according to the specific requirements of the industry).

What is the optimal Time To Market for a product?

The answer can depend on the requirements of your industry. In fast-moving consumer goods and in technology-driven industries, a TTM as early as possible is key to success.

In other cases it could be better to make the product available at the scheduled time rather than the earliest time. This can be the presentation of a product during a trade show or during a season when the demand is expected to be higher, just before or after a competitor has launched its new product.

In still other cases, especially when the time cannot be reduced, the best TTM-solution might be the time giving flexibility to make changes during new product development.

Strategies to reduce Time To Market

In his article “Improving Time to Market through Planning and Resource Management”, new product development expert Kenneth A. Crow suggested a way to help reducing TTM without affecting the quality of a product. Crow proposed a new product development process based on product planning, Project Planning and resource management in 7 steps:

  1. Align project requirements with budgets and set priorities in a product plan.
  2. Focus only on those projects that can be carried out with available resources. Fewer is better.
  3. Models are great, but try to plan a project with a tailored development process.
  4. Involve team members in project planning to enhance their understanding and commitment. Make use of a Cross-Functional Team.
  5. Ask project team members for a full-time engagement.
  6. Accurately plan and manage resources, avoiding overloading any personnel.
  7. Identify risks and take into account that additional resources may be needed at certain points of the process.

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Compare with: Product/Market Grid  |  Stage-Gate  |  Total Quality Management  |  Six Sigma  |  Design Thinking  |  BCG Matrix  |  Blue Ocean Strategy  |  Strategic Window  |  Competitive Environment  |  Experience Curve Effects  |  Entrepreneurial Organization  |  Second-mover Strategy  |  Art of War (Sun Tzu)  |  Sustainable Competitive Advantage

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