Product development refers to the life cycle, from the initial concept, through its creation, and finally its launch. However, the release of a product does not end the product development cycle, and products can continue to be develop and improved long after their release.
The idea of product development is a general term to describe the phases and goals involved in bringing a new product to market or improving an existing product. There is no one product development strategy that is strictly correct; there are many different ways to create and improve outcomes.
Table of Contents
Difference Between Product Development and Product Management
One of the biggest confusions around product development is its difference from product management. It can be easy to conflate these two terms when referring to entirely different things.
There is often confusion about product development because it can refer to different things in some organizations. Sometimes product development refers to the development team responsible for creating the proposed solution. In this case, product development is narrow down to focus on a specific group, but in our context. It refers to the overall system behind bringing a product to market.
Product stewardship is a more uniform term and refers to overseeing the creation of the product. It means that Product Managers are responsible for watching over the development of the solution, ensuring it has all the necessary elements and delivering it on time. About product development, product management is one of the many teams that bring a product to fruition.
5 Phases of Product Development
There are many exclusive phases of product development, and dependent on the organization, these phases can be completely different. Despite the organizational differences, everyone should follow some general steps.
The first phase of the product progress process is the brainstorming phase. Ideally, the team has a general idea of the product it wants to create, which is where that idea is refine.
To successfully create an idea, it has to do with the customer need, the market gap, and how it can be integrate with other products or business. This ideation stage will lay the groundwork for the rest of the project, and this phase must outline a strong vision that will then be scaled up and executed.
Once some viable ideas have been generating, it is essential to compare them with other ideas. And current market solutions to check their feasibility.
To do this, you have to measure the opinion of employees, comments from customers and other companies to ensure that the idea has merit.
At the end of the verification process, it will be time for the team to choose a single solution. After this, it will be time to start making a plan to turn this idea into reality. This will be the idea that is developed and released, so it is important that everyone has an opinion and a vote in this process.
The planning phase of the business is where logistics are prioritized. It includes developing a business case for the idea, proposing a budget for the development. And creating a clear understanding of the target market.
The business planning phase is critical to the product development cycle because it deals with all the external elements that are important to the product’s success. The product may be brilliant, but without proper positioning, it will struggle to reach its full potential.
In this phase, using SWOT analysis is vital because it allows teams to visualize essential elements, such as potential opportunities and threats, and collaborate on them in real-time.
Product progress is the process of planning and building the product itself. The creation process almost always begins with product design. It can often happen parallel with the other phases because it’s one of the most critical pieces to get right before development begins. Still, early in the build cycle, there should always be time to reference designs. And make sure that they are understood from top to bottom.
Testing and Launch
The last phase of the product progress process is testing and launch. Once the product is built, it must undergo rigorous stress testing to ensure that it can withstand any usage scenario. Especially when the product is software, there can be many things going wrong with it, so it needs to be airtight.
Once testing is complete, it’s time to launch the product. It is where the planning phase of the business comes into play to launch promotional campaigns and reach the market. Much of the planning work leads up to this point and will influence the launch’s success, so it’s essential to plan accordingly.
Product development is a mandatory process that must be prioritize if you want to bring a new product to market. And depending on your goals, there are many different ways to do it. We hope this guide has helped you outline the product development process and the various ways to achieve success in your next launch.