Creating a product is never an easy job. From the consumer side of things we may complain a lot when our product does not meet our expectations. But you got to understand that it’s never easy. To get a product from an idea to a physical object or a digital one will take your organization quite some time and effort.
But looking at the more optimistic side of things it’s pretty doable and a lot of companies have pulled it off. You just have to ensure that your product development process is very coordinated and organized.
Regardless of which organization you’re in there are 5 main steps that you can take in your product planning and development process. You can see each one in more detail below.
In the idea phase you and your team are going to sit together and brain storm the product concept along with interesting features. Additionally you are going to have prioritization meetings where you will prioritize your best ideas that you will include in your product.
Next you are going to do your market research. This is a really important task because this is where you are going to know if your product is the right for the market or not. In this phase you are going to present your product concept to possible consumers.
This will help you in getting great product insights and even ideas you could use on your product. In this phase it would be great to present a lower version of your product to customers. This is called the minimum viable product (M.V.P). Allowing your customers to test your product through an MVP will also help you to save cost and a lot of headaches going forward.
Just imagine you just create a product without doing an MVP and ship it straight to market. This is a huge risk; you wouldn’t know how your market would react to your product. If they react badly you would’ve to waste a lot of money refining the product and presenting it to the market back over again. Using an MVP could change all that and cut costs as well. You can gain data from your customers by conducting focus groups, surveys, one on one interviews etc.
After collecting useful customer data through market research, it’s now time to work on the full version of your product. The processes in this step include manufacturing physical products, developing digital products, managing the product etc.
After all those steps are finished you are going to develop a plan for your product. In the plan you are going to include your marketing strategy for the product, the special features it will have, the upcoming product extensions if necessary etc.
Release to market
It’s now time to release your product to the market. Keep in mind that although you are finished on paper but in the real world you are not quite finished. You have to constantly generate data from user complaints, product defects, user usage, sales data etc.
All these data will help to give you an idea of how well your product is performing and you can use it to refine your product to make it better. Product development is a continuous process and keeping a look out for innovations in your market is a must.
One innovative idea can shift consumer behavior from your product to competitors. So you must never settle.
These are just some simple steps that you can take to plan and develop a product. It’s also pretty simple to implement in your organization when you take into consideration the upside your company will gain from this.