Business velocity can make or break any business — and it's especially important for startups that are struggling to bring a product to market before anyone else beats them to it. Thus it becomes of paramount importance to clear roadblocks and set the stage for team productivity. Except how is this done exactly? At a 10,000-foot view, there really are only 3 steps. Let's attack them one by one.

1. Use Quick Project Cycles

The best way to speed up production is to use a project management methodology that focuses on fast work cycles. This way, iterations of the product can be quickly created and reviewed by everyone involved. It ensures there is consistent progress on the project, since small steps are taken toward project completion every single cycle.

2. Shift Gears When Needed

Realize you need to go a different route? Do it. Don't worry about the time you've already spent on a project; switching gears now prevents you from wasting any more time on a fruitless project. If you're already following tip #1 and using quick project cycles, evaluation should be continual and the overall product roadmap can be adjusted quickly when warranted. When you shift gears, just don't forget to list the important lessons learned from that sprint, Scrum period, or retrospective debriefing. Use that knowledge to fuel your future planning.

3. Maximize Visibility for Everyone

Access to an understanding of what everyone is working on is crucial. Especially for small, lithe organizations who may not have the manpower a large team, but are gung-ho enough to help one colleagues out wherever possible. If your organization is using the right agile project management tools, then it's easy to gather all work into one spot. Everyone will be able to view updates as they happen to help one another out. Along the same lines, your tool should help you explicitly track quarterly goals. You can maximize visibility by organizing every department's tasks and work folders in a way that reflects those goals, rather than just creating an obscure list of to-do items without clear objectives. This structure gives your organization the ability to evaluate all work and judge whether or not a task is necessary. If a task is not clearly feeding into a quarterly goal, it's a waste of resources and should be eliminated.

A Study in Velocity

Emerging tech company Tactus — who are pioneering a technology that raises physical buttons from a flat touchscreen, giving users a more tactile interface —  is a perfect example of a company revving their engine using the three points above.
  • First, their engineering team uses Scrum to speed up product cycles.
  • Second, they analyze every cycle for important cues on whether work is heading in the right direction.
  • Third, they utilize Wrike to maximize visibility into company goals and how those are reflected in all individual work.
An example of a Tactus screen Overall results? The company was able to reduce their Scrum periods by 80%, effectively turning what was originally a week-long Scrum period into a single day. Project statuses can be checked online at any time, instead of only during a daily briefing, which allows them to move onto next steps faster.

Do you have any suggestions on how to increase project velocity?

Hit the comments and share them with us.