Product Development Process: An Ultimate Guide for 2022
New product development is both exciting and challenging. It is exciting because it gives immense satisfaction when you finally see your idea coming to life. Challenging because the product development is a lot more complicated than it seems. You need to keep a lot of intricacies in mind.
That’s why it is essential to follow a defined product development process from the beginning so that you stay on track and launch your product on time.
Now, no two product launches are similar, and stages of new product development may differ from product to product. Still, the primary path remains the same. In this blog, we’ll study the product development process in detail. Let’s begin:
What are the Six Steps of Product Development?
1. Idea Generation
Every great product begins with an idea. While you might already have an idea that you think will work, it would be wise to discuss and validate it before working on it. Doing so will save your time and effort. Therefore, idea generation is the first step of product development.
At this stage, we brainstorm your idea based on your customers’ needs, market research, and pricing. Following are the points we keep in mind at this stage:
- Consumers for whom you are building your product.
- Existing products are similar to the ones you want to create (if any).
- A general idea of features and functions your product will serve.
- Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats regarding your product (identified through SWOT analysis).
It would be best to document ideas in business cases if you want to validate your product idea. It will help all team members have a clear understanding of the initial product features and the objectives of the product launch.
2. Defining the Product
Scoping or concept development or defining the product is the next step once you have brainstormed your idea and studied the market. We specify the following product specifics at this stage:
- Product’s business analysis that contains a mapped-out distribution strategy, eCommerce strategy, and in-depth competitor analysis. The end goal is to build a clearly defined product roadmap.
- Product’s value proposition. It clearly defines what problem your product is solving and how it stands out.
- Product’s success metrics. It clearly defines what will be the success of your product. These metrics can be anything like average order value or something more specific.
- A marketing strategy for your product that will help you achieve your end goals.
After specifying all these product specifics, you can start building an MVP of your product with initial prototyping.
We help you identify key risk areas and support your product idea with a more detailed business plan in the prototyping phase. For this, we conduct intensive research, document the product, and build a prototype. This prototype can be anything from a simple drawing to a complex visual representation of the initial design.
Following are the product specifics we work on at this stage:
- Market research to identify potential risks associated with developing your product.
- A development plan along with an estimated timeline.
- Evaluate your product strategy to determine the feasibility.
- An MVP with only the features necessary to go to launch. It helps you execute the product launch quickly.
4. Initial Design
In this stage, all project stakeholders create a mock-up of the product based on the MVP prototype. We do this by keeping the target audience in mind and complementing your product’s essential functions.
To create the initial product design, we involve all the stakeholders. It helps incorporate the initial feedback and verify that the initial product design is on track.
Once the design is approved, we validate and test it for issues, if there are any.
5. Testing & Validation
Testing & validation is essential stage of the product development process. It ensures your product is working before we launch it into the market.
Here’s what we do during the testing & validation phase:
- Enlisting the help of team members and beta testers to see if your product is working efficiently or not.
- Testing the front-end to ensure it is free of errors and stable for launch.
- Testing the marketing plan to see all campaigns are set up correctly and are ready for launch.
Now that you have everything ready, from the product roadmap, initial design, and prototype to sales and marketing strategy, it’s time to build your final product.
In this product development phase, you will work on:
- Develop the final product that you will release to your customers. The best approach is to start adding new features to the prototype until you achieve your end goal.
- Transition your eCommerce strategy to a live state. It involves conducting additional tests to see if your final product is functioning the way you want.
That’s all, now you have launched your product. Next, you need to measure it on the standards you have set in the beginning to see if the end product meets your expectations.
Uber: An Example of Product Development Process
Today we know Uber as the most extensive ride-sharing service with a 69% share of US rideshare spending. The key behind its success is a compelling product strategy. Uber identified the gap in the rideshare industry and solved it by creating a more straightforward ride-hailing process. Also, Uber didn’t stop there; and instead, it kept innovating and bringing new features onboard.
Who’s In a Product Development Team?
- A product manager who’s responsible for overseeing the entire product development lifecycle.
- A project manager facilitates communication across departments, delegates tasks, and tracks goals.
- Design team to support the visual product concept.
- A development team that is responsible for creating and implementing the product.
- A marketing team that develops a marketing strategy and tests it before the product goes live.
- A sales team that works on an effective selling strategy and prepares a report on success metrics after the product goes live.
- Senior stakeholders for final approval of the product before it goes live.
We can also involve other stakeholders based on a project’s needs or complexity. However, it happens if the situation demands it.
Now, you have a basic overview of what goes into building a product. But always keep in mind that every product’s journey is different. Chances are you will face different challenges, or something that worked for others does not work for you. So, you will have to make your path yourself.
This blog gave you a sneak peek into product development. Now, leverage these learnings to bring your product to life. Also, don’t forget to share your experience with us.