Product development typically refers to all the stages involved in bringing a product from concept or idea to launch and beyond. In other words, product development includes the entire journey of a product. If you want to go on your product development journey with us, you can request a quote.
What is Product Development?
Product development is the entire process of introducing a new product or improving an existing product for customers. Customers can be external or internal within a company. And it can support many different types of products, from software to hardware to consumer goods and services.
New Product Development Process
This process has many steps and it’s not the same path for every company, but these are the most common stages that products typically go through:
Determination of market need
Products solve problems. Therefore, identifying a problem to be solved (or a better solution) is where this journey should begin. Interviews with potential customers, surveys, and other user research activities can inform this step.
Measuring the opportunity
Not every problem is problematic enough to warrant a product-based solution. However, the pain it causes and the number of people or organizations it affects can determine whether this is a problem worth solving and whether people are willing to pay (with money or data) for a solution.
Conceptualizing the product
Some solutions may be obvious, while others may be less intuitive. This is where the team strives and applies their creativity to designing how a product can serve their needs.
Verification of the solution
Before too much time is spent on prototyping and design, the viability of the proposed solution should be tested. Of course, this can still be on a conceptual level. Still, it’s an early test to see if a particular product idea is worth pursuing further, or whether it will be rejected or only slightly adopted by the target user.
Creation of product roadmap
With a legitimate product concept in hand, product management can create the product roadmap by first identifying which themes and objectives are central to its development to resolve the most important bottlenecks and foster adoption.
Developing a minimum viable product (MVP)
This initial version of the product needs sufficient functionality to be used by customers.
Publishing MVP to users
Experiments can gauge interest, prioritize marketing channels and messages, and start testing the waters around price sensitivity and packaging. It also initiates the feedback loop to include ideas, complaints and suggestions in the prioritization process and to populate the product backlog.
Ongoing iteration based on user feedback and strategic goals
With a product on the market, improvements, expansions and changes will be driven by user feedback through various channels. Over time, the product roadmap will evolve based on this learning and the goals the company has set for this product. This work never ends until it’s time to unearth a product at the end of its lifecycle.
Who is involved in the Product Development Process?
Product managers lead the product’s success. They decide the product strategy, create the product roadmap, and define the product features. They are people who contribute to planning, creating, and delivering the product across the organization. This usually means representatives from product, engineering, innovation, product marketing and operations.
Every company defines their product development team differently depending on the product, customers, and industry. The product team usually consists of people who are actively involved in one or more phases of product development. They also collaborate with people from other teams involved in the success of the product – think like customer success, sales, finance, and legal. Everyone in a product-led organization plays an important role in understanding customers and delivering a Complete Product Experience (CPE).
A product team typically includes representatives from the following groups:
|Product Management||Product managers extend strategic objectives to tactical activities. You determine the product strategy, define what the product team will deliver and when, and communicate the progress according to the product roadmap.|
|Engineering||Engineers are responsible for “how” the product is built – collaborating on features and user stories, forecasting work and releasing new functionality.|
|Innovation||Innovation teams strategize new ways to approach the problems facing the business and its customers. They combine fresh ideas with market analysis to advance product strategy and prevent recession.|
|Product Marketing||Product marketers determine how the story of the product is shared. They improve positioning and messaging, and investigate the competitive environment. Builds buyer personas. They manage go-to-market campaigns, build awareness and increase product usage.|
|Operations||The operations team is responsible for corporate performance and progress by aligning budgets and processes across teams. Program and project managers track resource allocation, risks, and bottlenecks while facilitating collaboration between teams.|
While the details of product development may look different in every organization, there are standard phases that nearly all teams go through, from setting strategy to analyzing success. You usually complete one phase before moving on to the next, but you can improve decisions and solutions throughout the entire process.
Product development is the entire process of moving an idea from concept to delivery and beyond. Whether you’re launching a brand new offering or developing an existing product, the product development cycle starts long before anything is built. It covers everything from brainstorming its initial concept to strategically planning, building and launching, and then measuring its success.
Traditionally, product development was equated with the construction phase of the product lifecycle. Requirements for teams following their processes were predefined and implemented in successive phases. Most product teams now take a more iterative approach based on agile methodologies. Customer feedback is included early and often, studies are phased out, and change is expected and welcomed.
Methodologies aside, product development today is much more than “how” a product is produced. It is the “why”, “what” and “when”, which includes multifunctional work from product management and engineering to product marketing. Your goal is to work together to create, launch and develop a product that customers love.
Product innovation is an integral part of a company’s continued success. It comes down to creating value for your customers and your business. It sounds simple enough, but it’s hard work. While developing a product, it is useful to pay attention to the following topics:
- Focus clearly on business and customer value.
- Facilitate deep cross-functional alignment.
- Promote a shared understanding of plans and priorities.
- Increase visibility and transparency throughout the process.
- Focus on meeting real customer needs.
- Track and measure value at every stage of development.
- Invest in tools, production models and designs that support an agile approach.