The software product development industry has evolved to become one of the most important industries of our time. Employing millions of practitioners throughout virtually every developed country worldwide, this industry creates some of the most essential products we use to maintain and extend our lifestyles.
From controlling the production of the food we eat, to providing safety and control of the vehicles we drive, to providing life sustaining medical advances and automating the businesses that employ us, software has become the embodiment of much of the world's most valuable intellectual property.
In this intensely competitive environment, what will separate the winners from the losers, the leaders from the second place finishers? Simply, it is their ability to more quickly create and deliver software products that better address their customer's real needs. Successful companies can be characterized by:
- They are often first to market
- Their solutions directly address customer's real pain points, and they have built in mechanisms to assure that they do so
- They adapt more rapidly to business and technological change than their competitors
In other words, they deliver early and they deliver often, and they are relentless in constantly enhancing their solution to assure an ongoing fit to their customers needs.
This mantra seems simple enough, so why doesn't everybody do it? The answer lies deep inside the software development process itself, and we have observed that those who master this demanding and difficult process are most likely to emerge as the winners.