How to Accelerate Development During Your IoT Project
In a previous blog entitled, The Stages of the IoT Project Lifecycle, we walked through all of the stages each IoT project faces. In this blog we highlight the third stage, known as the Accelerate stage, to provide tips on what areas you should focus on, so you will be ready for commercialization.
Once a product idea has been validated as valuable to the market and technical unknowns have been largely addressed, organizations in the Accelerate stage should have engineering and development teams off to the races. It’s now time to determine who will build it, how to accelerate time-to-market, what processes are needed to support software development, if there are any new roles that need to be added to the organization (e.g., product owner), what services or roles are best provided by a partner, etc.
Questions to Create Traction
Organizations that are in the development stage often overlook the go-to-market aspect instead of making it a priority alongside engineering. It is crucial that go-to-market planning is occurring in parallel with the development efforts to keep your project moving, so your IoT project will be ahead of the game when it is time for commercialization. Below are questions to help organizations accelerate development and go-to-market efforts.
- Who will manage the go-to-market planning and does IoT change the normal process?
- How will the product’s market readiness be tested?
- How will the product be built (build/buy/partner) and how will product readiness be evaluated?
Common Pitfalls and Their Solutions
Organizations face similar pitfalls during the Accelerate stage—we’ve outlined them below, as well as some solutions to help you overcome them.
- Assuming that the “proof of concept” is the product that will be commercialized. The value of a proof of concept is making the first article of the hardware and the initial version of the software faster and at a lower run rate. It’s risky to take what is usually a working prototype and deploy it without sufficient testing.
- Solution: This comes down to managing stakeholder expectations and making it very clear that parts of the proof of concept will likely be thrown away and rebuilt from the ground up prior to commercialization. This is a necessary practice to ensure features and functionality are production-grade and scalable.
- Lack of a pilot testing milestone. Organizations often skip the valuable step of getting customer feedback from a lead customer after using the product in the field, missing out on key data about how the product works in real-life, real-work situations.
- Solution: Ensure a process is in place to both gather customer feedback and incorporate that feedback into a final round of feature enhancements, bug fixes, and installation and support procedures. This will help address any issues that were initially missed by the project team or incorporate missing features that prove important to customers.
Completing the Acceleration Stage
The slow roll-out of technology products often blurs the between late Acceleration and early Commercialization (the final stage). Typically, once an organization has concluded the pilot program and the go-to-market plan is complete, it’s time to look at general availability and finalizing the production-ready hardware.
Taking the time to answer critical questions, having the expectation that you will make changes and adjustments to your proof of concept, and prioritizing customer feedback will greatly increases your chances of a successful IoT project. To learn more, download your own copy of our free Understanding the IoT Project Lifecycle white paper. If you’d like to learn what the next step is in your IoT journey, download our IoT Readiness guide or connect with one of our IoT experts.