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Boost Collaboration and Reduce Time to Market on Web Projects

Reduce Your Time to Market
By investing time early in a project and slightly adjusting workflows, we can increasing collaboration and reduce time to market, effectively adding more value with fewer resources.

“Cut the budget. And also do more work. At a higher quality.”

You know this quote (or perhaps a similar, yet slightly more diplomatic one). It’s a common scenario business folks are faced with — do more with less.

To achieve such a feat is challenging. It requires human retention and professional growth. But that will only get you so far. To truly succeed — to take your organization to the next level, especially amid a shrinking economy — takes creativity. It means questioning and rethinking current tools and workflows.

Optimize Time by Investing It

As builders of web experiences, we’ve come to love the process of optimizing the process. We’re known to go to great lengths to squeeze out the smallest time improvements that will have lasting effects on how we work and how we spend our free time.

We do this because when we see our time as an investment, time becomes a resource that yields a beneficial return when spent wisely.

Stackbit is a Time Investment Resource

As Stackbit team members, we carry two unique attributes that position us to help our customers succeed in rethinking their web-building process:

  1. Experience: Helping customers re-platform and rework processes across organizations of various sizes in an array of industries has enabled us to share best practices discovered and created.
  2. Product: Stackbit’s visual web editor has afforded us unique insight into where our product can help organizations embody the mindset of investing their time.

Rethinking the Usage of Time When Building for the Web

Stackbit has become most beneficial to organizations as it unlocks a way to think differently about how to build, learn, and improve web experiences.

More specifically, Stackbit affords teams the ability to shift their strategy from [The Old Way] building whole pages with designers and developers to [The New Way] focusing on building individual reusable components that non-technical folks can use to assemble pages (within Stackbit).

This shift in focus can yield a profound impact on both collaboration and time to market. And this benefit continues to be realized over time.

Let’s take a look at the specifics.

The Old Way: Slow and Error-Prone

Many organizations follow a waterfall approach to building experiences for the web. It tends to work like this:

Time to Market - The Old Way

Ideation: Once the project is defined and approved, the work can begin with ideation. In this phase, a designer works with stakeholders to develop a creative brief.

This includes market research, brainstorming sessions, requirements gathering, stakeholder interviews, estimating, brand approvals, and …

approvals. Every step of the way can get held up for days, weeks, or months just trying to get someone to review and provide feedback or approve the work. When that finally happens,

Build: This begins with a technical dissection of the creative brief. Although it won’t be a surprise (likely a technical person was involved in ideation), it’s common for engineering teams to focus on the work at hand and not the work that is coming.

Implementing means standing up the proper architecture and building the necessary components and utilities to support the brief. And …

testing. (Plus approvals, again.) The work must be thoroughly tested. Bugs in the code for campaigns, initiatives, and new web experiences could mean a loss of revenue.

Deploy: After all that is done, it comes time to launch. And that seems simple, but it’s a coordinated effort that often must take place with the help of a number of different departments.

The New Way: Move Fast and Collaborate

An alternative approach that we’ve seen work significantly faster is to invest time in earlier projects that can be used in future projects.

Consider a world in which a single team ideates and builds together.

Time to Market - The New Way

Designers think on a component level, then developers implement those components, while the designers move on to the next set of components. When a component needs to change to serve the system, developers can handle that.

It sounds like a perfect world, but there are two caveats to note:

  • Approvals: This process doesn’t remove approvals, but it does rethink how approvals work. When a team designs and builds component-first, they are forced to think about the entire design system when making changes. Code is more likely to be built modularly, and changes can happen quickly. So if the approval comes at the last minute, it’s easier for devs to be nimble.
  • Components: Technically, The Old Way could use components and design systems, too. Many organizations are using the old workflow with newer practices, like component-driven design systems. The problem is that so much is lost in the handoff from design to dev (who are siloed from one another) that even if designers and developers are thinking system-first, they are doing so in isolation, which will cause friction of some sort (slower time to market) down the road.

Investing Time over Time Yields Significant Savings

If teams can work together in this new way, they can design and build projects faster, which means getting to market and learning faster. Learning then speeds up future projects.

We can see the effect of this over many project cycles.

Time to Market - Investing Time

Eventually, your project cycles get so fast that you’ve opened up space an entirely new project just by changing the process.

The key to all of this is that both these conditions exist:

  • Teams work together — ideation and builds happen in parallel with a high amount of collaboration.
  • Everyone works by putting components and the system above one-off implementations.

In this way, the first few cycles may be a little longer, but future cycles can take advantage of components built in previous cycles, and eventually they get shorter over time.

Stackbit Adds Further Time Savings

While this process can happen with or without Stackbit, adding Stackbit to your web-building stack takes this process to the next level.

Our visual editor means non-technical creators can edit content and components (and even their styles) in place and in near real-time. There’s no need to know or worry about where the content is stored.

This results in faster editing experience and less training for content editors, both of which result in time back that can be used for the next project.

Time to Market - Savings with Stackbit

An Example in Health Care

This may all sound great in theory, but does it really work?

Yes, it does. Wellster, an innovative next-generation health provider, leveraged Stackbit's visual editing platform to improve developer efficiency while accelerating content operations and collaboration.

Read the story if you’re interested in the details.

Break Out of The Old Way

Do more with less. Refine your current workflows and promote collaboration by bringing designers and developers together to ideate and develop together with an iterative and system-first approach.

Add Stackbit’s visual editor to take the time savings to the next level over time. And add to the mix our in-house workflow consultants, and you’ll be building web experiences at lightning speeds in no time.