May  2005     Edition 1
Fast Cycle Time

Welcome to the first edition of The Headscratcher Post,

a monthly “Post” of interesting “Headscratchers” or news related to Headscratchers

.
The “How do we do it better?”

Headscratcher. Headscratchers exists in many facets of a business. In particular and for example, we’ll look at product and service functionality. Specifically, “how does a company create products and services that meet customers needs better than the competition”.

Example.

One solution for this Headscratcher is to out cycle your competition. If your cycle time is 8 months, and your competitor’s is 12, then in only two years, you will out cycle your competition, resulting in being a generation ahead of them in responding to customer needs. Out cycling your competition wins customers and keeps them.

Fast cycle development and deployment enables

you to be more responsive to the changing needs of customers. Long cycle time means you could end up with a solution that customers either no longer want or your competitors already have. Fast cycle gives your new functionality a competitive edge as opposed to being an “at par” feature.

Not only can you have fast cycles

, but you can have it with higher quality than long drawn out cycles. Fast cycle time projects also have highly predictable schedules and budgets.

The Takeaway
- The next time you add functionality to your product or service, consider a series of short cycle time projects as opposed to large monolithic projects. You’ll increase your customer responsiveness, increase quality, decrease overall costs and leave your competition wondering how you did it.

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