Product Development Process in 7 steps

Product development doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes a series of sometimes tedious but always crucial steps to take a product from idea generation to an actual, real, living, and breathing thing in the market.

Any product you can think about likely went through the following stages.

So, if your business has a product it is developing, make sure you allow time (and an ample supply of patience) for the following cycle.

Doing so will make these steps go smoother.

CONCEIVE

You can’t build anything if you don’t conceive it first, right? Of course. However, conception in the world of product development has several stages. These stages inform the product development cycle.

One of the critical questions to answer in this stage is, “Will anyone want it?” That’s where market research, problem-defining exercises, and brainstorming with a team come in. Only after you do that will you be able to generate ideas that are not only possible but sustainable.

UNDERSTAND

There are a few things you have to understand to move forward beyond the conception stage.

First, you must understand the problem you are trying to solve, again found in market research.

In addition, you have to understand whether there is a market and other players in your space.

Last but certainly not least, you have to understand the cost of this solution to your product team and organization.

IDEATE

OK, now it’s time to start throwing ideas out there for potential solutions to the problems you want to solve.

It’s the idea generation process, and believe it or not; this could be the most fun stage of the process. You ask yourself, “What if this thing I have in my mind existed?” In this stage, you also see a small clarity related to what your product team will build with your development team.

Boost the excitement about it at this stage.

PROTOTYPE

OK, now on to the part where we start to perform a product development process but just enough to make it right. Make sure you notice that this is step 4. Preparation is key to any successful project.

A prototype is, of course, a model of the product you are building. Through prototyping, you can ensure the idea is functional while allowing you to shift gears on the fly if you need to. It’s the quick and dirty version of the product. You can discover the bugs early by testing with a product development team comprising some tech and non-technical individuals.

BUILD

Now that you have done your market research, built a prototype, tested it on your target market, and received some success from your target customer, it’s time to build on a more functional scale.

Another crucial step in this process, building functionality that matches what you hope the minimum viable product will have, helps ensure you can test anything you can think of. This [process] will involve the product development team in a much more symbiotic process.

TEST

Once you have a production process, you can test your product in various conditions with your development team. You can simulate countless scenarios for the product outside the normal process flow. We call these edge cases. If not, you should still have a good testing period to deliver your baby ready to hit your target market and the general public.

LAUNCH

Well, now it’s go time! Take everything you learned from your product development process and implement it! Once again, though, it’s not about launching and forgetting.

While your target market uses the minimum viable product, they will provide valuable feedback. This [feedback] will provide your development team with the necessary information throughout the product development process to enhance its purpose in delivering what your target market needs.

These steps, from idea generation to producing a minimum viable product and beyond, have different levels of emphasis depending on your market and what kind of product you are building. But they represent a good starting point for you if you’re looking to build a product, develop it and get it in the market.

For Assistance in building your product, contact us today for a free consultation!

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