All businesses want to create products that their users fall in love with. Improving product quality is extremely important to increase sales and profitability. It is not easy to improve product quality, but it can reward businesses with reduced costs and increased revenue.
If you want to transform your product into an optimal offering for your users, you must include quality practices into its routine processing. Quality must become intrinsic to your entire product development process.
What is the product development process?
The product development process includes all the activities involved in creating a product and making it available in the market. The process starts with identifying market needs or studying customer requirements that form the basis of the new product. Companies then conceptualize a solution for these needs and create a roadmap to build a viable product.
Even after you release your product in the market, you must track your product journey and integrate feedback. Doing so will ensure that you can continuously upgrade your product based on market research and improvement insights, offering your users the best possible product.
The product development process usually involves multiple teams such as design, development, marketing, sales, finance, and testing.
A typical product development process consists of six steps:
Step 1: Ideation or Idea generation
This is the step where product concepts originate. It often involves screening numerous product ideas to decide the next product effort. A lot of analysis and market research goes into understanding the technical and market risk of a product. Sometimes companies may also use SWOT analysis to prioritize ideas in this step.
The idea generation step is very important because wrong product concepts could lead to the wastage of a lot of time, money, and effort.
Step 2: Product definition
In the product definition stage, companies refine the product definition, ensuring that the design and development teams understand customer requirements. The design team starts by making a detailed assessment of the technical, market, and business aspects of the new product. The team also determines the core functionality of the product.
During this stage, companies may also use mockups, prototypes, or simulations to get feedback from test marketing. Concept design and market strategy development also happen at this stage.
Step 3: Prototyping
The prototyping stage is where companies explore the competitive landscape of the new offering. It often involves extensive market research. Besides concept testing, companies also determine the pricing of the product in this stage.
Important decisions regarding the manufacturability of the product are also taken at this stage, especially if the product is hardware or mixed systems. For instance, companies may decide whether or not they should outsource the manufacturing of the product.
This stage gives the management a clear idea of how the product will perform in the market. It also helps them understand the market risks of the new product.
Step 4: Detailed design
In this step, companies focus on refining the product prototype. Alpha-testing usually happens at this stage as companies gather user feedback and incorporate it into the product. Parallelly, marketing and sales teams work to create the ideal launch for the product.
Step 5: Testing
The testing stage ensures that the product works as planned. It also involves validating the product in the eyes of the customers and the market, while testing whether the product is financially viable or not.
Every feedback gathered from the customers in the development stage gets tested in the real world during this stage. Testing is often the last stage before the product is ready to be released into the market.
Step 6: Commercialization
This step usually brings together everything that is needed to bring the final product into the market, including sales and marketing plans. Manufacturing and customer support become operational. Test marketing, however, may continue for greater success with the launch.
Practices for the product development process
Specific approaches may vary from company to company. However, companies that repeatedly launch successful products in the market follow the below best practices.
- They always keep their user’s needs and problems in mind.
- They use market research and user feedback to conceptualize a product.
Gathering product feedback from users is an integral part of the product strategy.
- Having a product development process framework is essential. Developing without a system in place could potentially lead to failure.
- Plugins and add-ons make a digital product more complete, look to add a chatbot to your overall offering. Chatbots such as a telegram bot provide your business with detailed, actionable records of your customers’ greatest pain points, helping your company improve its products and services.
- E2E testing is essential. Software testing is important to find bugs, allowing you to identify and rectify problems early. Software testers use end to end testing to capture errors or bugs throughout the entire software development lifecycle. E2E testing is critical for ensuring that your users get a quality experience.
The number of manufacturers and service providers are growing in the market every day. How do you ensure that you stand out among the crowd? A strong product strategy and robust product development process can ensure that you come out with the best offering for your users.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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