Learn about the best practices for organizing an effective product development process and get your insights on how to build a groundbreaking solution. This article will focus on the key stages of modern product development.
We live in a world where one innovative high-tech solution can change the market forever. In 2021 true innovators like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates are among us, and maybe your next project will become a paradigm shift for some industry and will leave a significant mark. With the advancements in technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Cloud Computing, and the Internet of Things the chances are we will see a lot of new and exciting innovations in the nearest future. Just like an iPod for Apple, a groundbreaking solution can be a defining one for an organization and establish its dominant presence on the market for the years to come.
Unfortunately, not all bright ideas become a success and become recognized by the masses. Even more than that, we can trace moments in history when the idea was stolen (or borrowed), improved, and risen to prominence, and the originators were left behind. Why is that? There are many factors to that, being at the right place at the wrong time is one of them. But in many cases, the actual implementation is a key to success. Today we will talk about the methods for setting up an effective flow of actions in your project. If you have everything planned during the new product development stages, you can uncover some new opportunities or flaws in the initial idea and will have the ability to change them.
Why is Product Development Important?
Because having thought out the new product development process will actually show you how viable your initial idea is. Among the benefits for the organization that building this product is control over the development process, improved performance of the development teams, and significant cost savings.
What is the Product Development Life Cycle?
This is a detailed plan of every aspect and step of the product development. The new product development life cycle processes include everything from coming up and tweaking the initial idea to launching and marketing the final solution. This life cycle can last years, and it is far beyond the plan for developing the software.
In this article, we would like to share some expertise of SPD Group in the best practices for new product development processes. Hopefully, you will find this information useful and leverage it to create a project of your dreams!
“The best way to predict the future is to create it”Peter Drucker
What are the 7 stages in the new product development process?
1. Generating an idea
This is one of the key concepts in modeling product development processes that you probably heard before in other walks of life. The main concept here is brainstorming. Gather your team and come up with as many ideas, customer problems, and solutions as you can. They don’t need to be perfect or foolproof, even more than that, some of them might seem ridiculous at a first glance, and this is perfectly fine. The brainstorming sessions are meant to be that way and should spark creativity in your project. After you collect the initial pool of ideas from your team members, you can always narrow them up, focus, and build on the most interesting and fitting for the situation.
2. Screening an idea
Now you have a pool of ideas that might seem suitable for the project. It is time to narrow them down even more and choose the sole idea that has the highest rate for potential success. To deal with this challenging task effectively it makes sense to collaborate with experienced specialists in your particular industry. If we talk about software development, it’s time to partner up with a reputable company for getting an insight into the technical side of things and creating the Proof of Concept (PoC) to figure out the feasibility of selected ideas. Additionally, you can turn to the proven marketing tactics and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis for picking the best idea you possibly can.
3. Developing and testing the concept
So, you got the best idea you can for your project, it’s time to add more details and create user stories. The value proposition evaluation is the main component of building a concept and testing it. For proper value proposition evaluation you need:
- To determine the Gain/Pain ratio. “Gain” here stands for the benefits for the customers and “Pain” for the effort for customers to use your product.
- To analyze the potential competitors on the market
- To create a list of the key features of your product
- To draw a Value Proposition Chart, which might look like this:
|Value Proposition Parameter
|Who are your customers?
|What problem your customers have?
|The Advantage of Your Product
|What unique feature/solution your product can offer
|How does your product solve the problem of the customers?
|Why your product is better than alternatives?
When the value proposition is ready you can conduct concept testing focusing on the specific set of users.
4. Analyzing the business and forming a market strategy
Marketing strategy is simply the way for your product to reach your target audience. One of the best ways to start building a marketing strategy is to follow “marketing mix”, also known as 4P, a foundation model for businesses. For determining the price of your product, you can base it on actual costs or build it around actual market prices.
5. Product development
With all the above-mentioned stages completed, we can move on to the actual software development. The first thing to do is to build a UI/UX prototype of the product which will help to visualize the functionality. Don’t neglect the second thing crucial for success – building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP is super important because it allows you to launch your product with a minimal amount of features and get a response from the market. As far as the software development process goes, there are two most popular ways to go Agile/Scrum approach and Waterfall. Based on our experience, Agile and Scrum are way more effective for software development, but conduct your own research and find out what fits you the most!
6. Market testing
When the software product is complete, it will be a good idea to reduce uncertainty and check the viability of a new product by getting some feedback. There are two main strategies for this: Alpha and Beta testing. In the case of Alpha testing, the testing engineers are deployed into your organization to evaluate the performance. For Beta testing, your product is being shown to small groups of target customers.
7. Entering the market
At the last stage, all you need to do is to enter the market and successfully launch your product.Commercialization combines a set of terms that includes the following:
When you will do everything possible at all of these stages, success is still not guaranteed, but you will get a polished product that will get attention, praise from customers, and find its rightful place.
What is the most important stage in the product development process?
It is a tough question to answer because all the steps are equally important. You can’t market an unfinished or a buggy software solution, and on the other hand, even the most groundbreaking and cutting-edge software could be worthless without proper effort from the marketing team. The new product development process example we showed in this article is probably the most essential stages you need to be aware of and complete to get a successful result.
How to develop a product development plan?
The high-level plans are often simple to understand and to build, it’s not rocket science. However, for a more detailed and individualized plan, you better contact an experienced software development company that will guide you and offer the necessary consultation.
What are the risks of the new product development?
Probably the biggest risk is to focus your time and money on the new product, while you don’t get everything you can from existing ones. Your innovation, unfortunately, can be a failure that will waste your resources. You must always keep that in mind!
Innovators are the ones that deliver value to humanity and make the world a better place. You can be that innovator combining your brilliant idea and the 7 stages we talked about. The information in this article is just a basic overview of an exciting subject of developing a new product and presenting it on the market. So, you need to conduct more of your own research and contact experienced product developers for a consultation.
In any case, having a proper product development process is a must, because it will allow you to check the technical and market feasibility of an idea, improve your management processes, lower the operational expenses and ultimately improve your chances of success.
Unfortunately, not all innovators follow strict processes and use effective methodologies, making their processes chaotic and ineffective. Don’t make their mistake and leverage all information and knowledge you can to deliver a groundbreaking solution!