Tag Archive for: predictive product development

Many questions need to be answered throughout the development process, and quickly. But teams often don’t have the right approach to data collection, storage or analysis to enable fast, data-driven decisions.

One tactic is to dump a bunch of data from disparate tools into a spreadsheet in an attempt to glean insights. Not only is this a heavy, manual process, but the resulting data is not always complete, consistent or up to date. And it also doesn’t capture the full context of what’s happening behind the numbers.

All the while, timelines are slipping, release dates are approaching and costs are rising.

In a recent webinar, we explored how proper data collection and analysis can make your development process more predictable. We also discussed the current state of product development (based on data from McKinsey), and the underlying causes of costly overruns and how to avoid them.

In addition to underestimating complexity, which you can read about in “How to Decrease Overruns in Complex Product Development,” a lack of consistent data is another significant cause of overruns.

Why a Lack of Data Causes Overruns

When teams lack consistent data, things like benchmarking and consistency across projects and products is either lacking or altogether absent. This also makes it much more difficult to make informed decisions.

Yet, data-driven decisions are exactly what’s needed to ensure you’re building the right thing, the right way and that it will get to market on time.

Without reliable data, team leaders often put their faith in historical information that may be from less complex or completely different projects, or worse, simply go with their gut feelings.

This can bring about severe development issues in even the most successful companies, and cause even veteran project managers to make costly mistakes.

So, what can you do to achieve consistent and reliable data to make your development process more predictable?

Get Answers to Essential Questions

To enable predictability and accurate data analysis, you need a purpose-built Predictive Product Development solution, like the Jama Product Development Platform.

By importing data from Jama Connect™ and Jira Software, for example, Jama Analyze™ allows you to get data-driven answers to the onslaught of questions that arise during complex product development.

Here are just a few questions you can answer with Jama Analyze:

  • Does this product satisfy customer and stakeholder requirements and marketing goals?
  • Can we prove we’ve met these requirements?
  • Are we going to deliver on time? How confident are we?
  • Are changes being made to any of our items throughout the process?
  • How good is our team at finding defects before they hit the public?
  • How long do things stay in each status?

Having these key performance indicators (KPIs) at your fingertips empowers you to set the right expectations and have necessary conversations if those expectations don’t align with the data you’re seeing.

Ultimately, measuring and tracking these metrics will help you make better, more profitable products.

There are many reasons why a project might stray from its original plan, but a leading factor is often underestimating complexity at the project’s outset. And that mistake is costing companies.

McKinsey recently analyzed 1,800 completed software projects and 1,600 integrated-circuit design projects for a deeper understanding of the state of product development.

The study found that only 30% of software projects met their original delivery deadline, while the average overrun was around 25%.

With hardware projects, the problem was worse: More than 80% of projects were late and the average overrun was nearly 30%.

Overruns such as these cost companies greatly, with both a direct impact on budget and an indirect effect on market position and perspective. This is a tough problem to tackle, especially when teams are building increasingly complex products at a faster rate than ever before.

At Jama, we believe the way to overcome this challenge is to make your development process more standardized. Here are three ways to take your development process to the next level and decrease costly overruns for good.

Focus on the Definition Stage

Multiple handoffs, interactions and iterations take place throughout the development process. Yet, because of antiquated and disparate tooling, teams are often disconnected and lack visibility into what other groups are doing or how those actions affect scope.

The result is often tradeoffs without market context. This can lead to scope creep and quality issues entering the process downstream, all due to poor communication in earlier development stages.

To smooth handoffs and create a refined process, you need to focus upstream at the definition phase of development. If you get that right, you can mitigate issues downstream so they don’t become much larger and more significant problems.

Use the Right Tools for the Job

Products are more complex than ever, so it follows that development of those products has grown more complicated. Still, many companies continue to use the same, unstructured tools they’ve always used in their development process.

Today’s highly structured, highly governed work requires technology that can not only withstand the changing landscape but also ease the transition and manage complexity at scale.

Modern product development platforms like Jama Connect empower your teams and support the workflow you need to compete in today’s market.

Managing complexity at scale means defining relationships among requirements and items through to defects, as well as validating and verifying that what you’re building is what the market needs.

This is exactly what Jama Connect™ provides. Seamless integrations with best-in-breed tools like Jira Software increase the visibility of activities across a unified environment.

You can operate with the confidence that your teams are working collaboratively; your review process supports your structure, and you can deliver on time – all with live traceability along the way.

Avoid Past Mistakes

Teams often underestimate complexity because they believe that issues they’ve encountered in the past won’t come up again. Avoiding past mistakes requires leveraging what you’ve already done and benchmarking for the future. A structured approach backed by consistent data lets you see how projects are progressing in real time.

To dive deeper into the relationship between rising product complexity and effective requirements management, download our report: Design Teams: Requirements Management & Product Complexity.”

Predictive Product Development involves the application of disciplined processes, streamlined methodologies and real-time analytics. Its goal is to give organizations building complex products the power to breakthrough siloed development data and functions, identify and anticipate areas for process optimization and drive more strategic business efficiencies and outcomes.

Designed to remove barriers to innovation, Predictive Product Development is a new, modern way of working characterized by four pillars:

  • Integration
    Taking a broad, deep holistic approach to product development that spans the entire end-to-end lifecycle, resulting in full process coverage and transformation. Predictive Product Development encompasses teams and technology stacks at every layer of definition, design, development, verification, delivery and customer usage to offer data-driven visibility and provide a complete, accurate picture of performance from idea to iteration.
  • Visibility
    Having a clear point of view on your current product development process, while staying flexible enough to continue implementing best practices as things evolve. Software tooling alone can’t fix bad processes. That’s why it’s imperative to align tools with optimized methods to increase adoption and boost success rates.
  • Insight
    Leverages deep, granular data that backs up your organization’s point of view on product development and clearly demonstrates the business impact. By using metrics that inform and fine-tune the product development process, teams expose previously hidden innovative opportunities that can be replicated, iterated and expanded upon in future cycles.
  • Benchmarking
    Ensures transparency into trends data and insights over time — to compare one product or project to another, measure one product development team relative to another, benchmark yourself against others in your industry, and illuminate and share best practices across disciplines to better forecast product quality, performance and releases.

When executed correctly, teams using Predictive Product Development gain an edge over competitors. Predictive Product Development is capable of transforming your business in new and incredible ways, and its influence on your process and industry will only strengthen over time.