An Insight into Our 6-Stage Product Development Process for Faster App Deployment

June 7, 2022

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One of the most remarkable challenges for business owners and CTOs is bringing their innovative products to reality. The product development process might appear mysterious, and when you hear the genesis tales of other successful companies, you’ll notice that the path to a final product is rarely a straight line.

When Jeff Bezos first started building his product, he researched all economic sectors to determine which products would sell best online. That method assisted him in deciding his starting point: books. The consumer will find it easy to purchase books online. It’s a well-informed product that’s simple to transport, has a high demand, and is a commoditized commodity with large distributor margins.

What is product development?

The first step of the product life cycle is product development. If you want to produce a product for internet sales, think like Bezos and examine product, market, and distribution aspects to build your business strategy.

The product development process comprises the steps that turn a product concept into marketable items. Starting with an idea, you develop technical requirements, product positioning, price strategy, service components, and financial features. This process might start with an idea or a market, but it generally follows the same phases.

What to think about before you start developing a product

Let’s look at some of the criteria for product development before we get into how to make a product. Make sure you’ve thought about the following factors before starting the product design process to save time and effort.

1. Is the product in high demand?

Is the product you’re thinking about meeting an actual need?

The size of your market for the product will be determined by the seriousness and frequency of the demand. If your product is based on an idea, there may not be an existing market for the product, and you will need to evangelize the market to sell it.

2. Is it possible to make it?

While Photoshop allows us to make or adapt anything from a photo, engineering does not always provide us with the same creative flexibility. Is it technically feasible to construct this product concept? Is there a manufacturing capability elsewhere on the planet?

3. How will the product reach its target market?

What is the location of your customers? Is there a way to transport and distribute the product concept to that target demographic, or will you have to go outside the box and form new distribution partnerships?

This phase is made much easier by the availability of e-comm and logistics supply chain, which will help you sell and deliver to any location.

4. What kind of opposition will it face?

Will the product be a copycat targeting an existing market, requiring a higher value proposition than competitors and extensive client acquisition activities when it launches? Will it be a one-of-a-kind product with little direct rivalry in which you focus on setting yourself out from the competitors? Existing rivals are often better since they demonstrate a market for the product.

5. Do you have the financial resources required?

A product’s development is an investment. It may require financial support, depending on its technological qualities and competitive placement.

Will you make it to the first sale? Will you need more funding along the process?

How ambitious you can be is determined by your financial means.

Six stages of product development

The product development process aids in the simplification of a launch and stimulates cross-team cooperation by putting teamwork and communication at the center of the process. Let’s look at the product life cycle and discuss the six stages. All of these can help you effectively launch your new product.

Stage 1: Idea generation (Ideation)

The product development process starts with the generation of new product concepts. In this, you develop product concepts based on consumer demands, concept testing, and market research. When launching a new product concept, it’s a good idea to think about the following factors:

  • Market to target: The customer profile for designing your product is your target market. These are your prospective clients.

  • This is crucial to understand from the outset to construct your product concept around your target market.

  • Existing products: It is good to assess your current product portfolio when you have a new product concept.

Are there any goods on the market that tackle a similar problem?

Or does a competitor provide a product that prevents you from gaining market share?

Is your new notion sufficiently unique to be viable?

Answering these questions can help your innovative idea succeed.

  • Functionality: While you don’t require a thorough report on the product’s capabilities at this time, you should have a basic concept of the functions it will perform.

Consider how your product looks and feels and why someone would want to buy it.

  • SWOT analysis: Analyzing your product’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will help you design the best version of your innovative concept.

This will ensure that your product stands out from the competition and fills a market void.

  • SCAMPER: Use brainstorming methods like SCAMPER to develop your idea, which entails replacing, merging, adapting, modifying, putting to another use, removing, or rearranging your product notion.

Documenting product ideas in the form of a business plan to justify a product proposition will ensure that all team members are aware of the initial product features and the goals of the new product launch.

Stage 2: Market research

You may directly jump to product development with your idea, but this might be a mistake if you don’t validate your concept first. Product validation ensures that you’re developing a product that people will pay for and that you won’t spend time, money, or effort on a flop. You may verify your product ideas in a variety of methods, including:

  • Discussing your concept with relatives and friends

  • Obtaining comments using an online survey

  • Starting a crowdsourcing project

  • Using communities like Reddit to solicit feedback

  • Using Google Trends to investigate internet demand

  • Using email opt-ins or pre-orders to evaluate interest in a “coming soon” page

It is critical to collect input from a large and neutral audience on whether or not they would consider buying your product, regardless of how you go about validating your idea. Be mindful of overvaluing input from people who “certainly would purchase” if you built your hypothetical product—you can’t call someone a customer until money changes hands.

Competitive analysis will almost always be a part of validation research. If your concept or niche has the potential to be successful, there are undoubtedly existing rivals in the market. You may learn how your competitors attract clients and generate sales by visiting their websites and signing up for their email lists. You should ask your potential clients what they like and hate about your competition to define your competitive edge.

Stage 3: Prototyping

During the prototype stage, your team will conduct extensive research and documentation on the product while developing a complete business strategy and building it. These early prototypes might be as simple as a sketch or as complicated as a computer rendering of the first idea. These prototypes assist you in identifying areas of risk before developing the product. During the prototype stage, you will focus on details such as:

  • Viability analysis: The next phase in the process is to assess the feasibility of your product plan. Determine if the workload and the expected deadline are realistic.

If not, change your dates and seek assistance from other parties.

  • Market risk analysis: Before your product is physically developed, it is critical to assess any possible hazards linked with its creation. This will ensure that the product launch does not get sidetracked later.

It will also guarantee that hazards are communicated to the team by recording them in a risk register.

  • Development strategy: You may start working through your development strategy. Product Managers allocate jobs and monitor when they are completed. The critical route technique is one strategy for planning projects and estimating timelines.

  • MVP: A minimal viable product (MVP) results from the prototype stage. Consider your MVP to be a product with only the features required to work and nothing more.

Making an MVP can help your team launch a product faster than implementing all of the necessary features, which can extend launch deadlines.

When bandwidth becomes available, desired functionality can be added later.

Stage 4: Build initial design

Project stakeholders collaborate to create a mockup of the product based on the MVP prototype during the early design phase. The design should be made with the target audience in mind and complement the product’s primary functions. A good product design may require multiple iterations to be perfect and communication with distributors to get the necessary materials.

  • Source materials: It is critical in developing the initial mockup. Working with numerous suppliers and obtaining supplies, or producing your own, may be required.

Because resources might originate from various sources, you should keep track of them in a standard location to refer to them later.

  • Connect with stakeholders: Maintaining close contact with stakeholders during the design phase is critical to ensure your original design is on track.

Send weekly or daily progress reports to provide updates and obtain permissions.

  • Request first input: Once the design is finalized, seek feedback from top management and project stakeholders. The team can make any necessary changes to the product design until it is ready to be created and executed.

Move on to the validation step for final testing before launching the product once the design has been approved and is ready to be handed off.

Stage 5: Validation and testing

You must first validate and test a new product before it can go live. This assures that the whole product, from creation to marketing, is in order before being distributed to the general public.

Complete the following steps to assure the quality of your product:

  • Concept development and testing: You may have built a good prototype, but you’ll still need to resolve any difficulties throughout the concept development process. This might entail software development or the actual manufacturing of the prototype. To ensure quality assurance, you must test functionality with team members and beta testers.

  • Front-end testing: During this stage, look for issues with development code or consumer-facing faults in the front-end functionality. This involves testing the e-commerce feature and ensuring it’s ready to go live.

Test your marketing plan for functionality and mistakes before manufacturing your final product. This is also the time to double-check that all campaigns are correctly set up and ready to go. After your initial testing, you’re ready to develop the final product design and launch it to your consumer base.

Final stage: Commercialization

It’s now time to sell your idea, which entails launching your product and integrating it into your website. You’ve finished the design and tested your development and marketing strategy. It would help if you were comfortable with your final iteration and prepared to deliver your final result.

At this point, you should focus on:

  • Product development: This is the physical manifestation of your product that will be delivered to clients. For software concepts, this may necessitate manufacturing or further action. Give your team the final product prototype and MVP iterations to build the product according to the specs.

  • Ecommerce implementation: When your product is complete and you’re ready to launch, your development team will put your eCommerce content live. This may necessitate further testing to confirm that your live product performs as expected during the initial front-end testing phase.

Your completed product is now available for purchase. All that’s left is to track your progress using the success measures you chose at the start.

Conclusion

It takes time to create a successful product. We’ve gone through the most systematic processes in product development; however, the crucial steps differ based on the nature of your product concept. Your company strategy and process management are essential. Still, there will be so many variables that your decision-making, determination, and the quality of your product vision will most likely be the best predictors of your success.

The golden rule of New Product Development is to concentrate on innovating while providing value.

About the Author Ranjit Singh is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RV Technologies. In the past 10+ years, he has focused on helping clients to expand their business through the best digital solutions. Leading a team of 100+ employees, he knows how to implement the best market practices to transform a client’s business growth and help him achieve dedicated goals.

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