Product development is a multifaceted and effectual process that ensures business growth. It comprises a journey from the concept and market research to the finished products, where each stage requires careful planning and execution. So, in this article, we will show you the 6 important stages of product development workflow you should not avoid to make your company bigger and more successful in 2023. You will also learn what to consider before choosing a particular workflow.
What is Product Development Workflow?
A product development workflow is a well-structured process that helps you create and refine a new digital product or service. This systematic procedure encompasses different stages, including ideation, conceptualization, designing, prototyping, testing, and repetition for improvement.
Moreover, this process helps product teams cooperate, prioritize tasks, and make the right decisions during the entire development phase. This ultimately brings you closer to successfully delivering competitive and winning solutions to the market faster.
Effective product development workflows are essential for any business that aims to remain responsive and agile to satisfy customers’ needs while mitigating risks and increasing productivity.
How to Choose the Best Product Development Workflow?
Selecting an ideal product development workflow depends on several factors, including your team’s expertise, size, and project’s nature. These steps will help you choose the most suitable and new product development process.
Also Read: The Best Recommended Size of an Agile Team
a. Know Your Goals
The first thing you need for the development process is to know your business goals. Start by defining the scope, objectives, and outcomes of your project. Also, determine the complexity and size of your project and any obligatory industry requirements that are necessary to fulfill.
b. Analyze Your Team
Ask yourself whether you have the team with the right skills and experience to fill all product development workflow requirements. Moreover, write down all your resources to help you complete the product development cycle, such as IT infrastructure and technology stack.
c. Decide Workflow Methodology
Some of the most common product development workflows are based on Agile principles. However, depending on your goals and team size, you can use approaches like Waterfall, DevOps, and Lean.
Ideally, Agile is considered the best approach as it permits iterative development. This helps your team adapt to changing timelines and refine products through customer feedback. Besides, the Agile methodology offers more ways to diminish risks than the Waterfall approach, which is also less user-centric.
d. Do Experiments with Your Chosen Methodology
When it comes to choosing a product development workflow, you may find yourself puzzled by different methodologies. For example, by looking at your team size and the nature of the product, you may find Agile as the best approach to follow. But, due to the strict timeline, you may think again about opting for the Waterfall approach.
In such situations, the wise act is to consider running a pilot project with two different methodologies to know which one suits your company in the best way possible.
e. Seek Guidance from a Reliable Tech Vendor
Instead of wasting resources, it is better to consult a reliable tech partner with an in-depth understanding of product development methodologies. You can ask for their partial or complete services related to product development workflow. Doing so will save you time and money, and your expert will also guide you in choosing the best strategies for new product development.
6 Stages of Product Development Workflow
Here are the 6 stages of product development used in the entire process.
1. Conceptualization Stage
New product development begins with new ideas. This phase of product development workflow involves deep brainstorming based on your target audiences’ needs, market research, and testing concepts. To start this process, you must identify your potential customers and check whether or not similar products exist. Also, evaluate the uniqueness of your idea. Think of your product’s features and their impact on the users’ lives.
You can apply the SWOT Analysis tool to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your digital product. Likewise, you can opt for the SCAMPER method to refine your idea by making changes to it, such as offering a product with multiple features. It is also important to outline the product’s attributes and time-to-market it for the team so they know what tasks they will have to perform in the coming days.
2. Product Defining Stage
The second phase is also known as concept development or scoping, where you define your product and create strategies. This stage demands four sub-stages, which are:
Product Roadmap Creation
This involves penning down all the possible eCommerce and distribution strategies alongside competitor analysis. As a result, it allows you to develop a clear product roadmap.
Also Read: 6 Steps to Create a Good Product Roadmap Strategy
Discover what problems your product can solve and how it will have a competitive edge.
Identify if there are any key metrics you should be paying attention to. These can be simple KPIs, including the average order value.
Once you have discovered the value proposition (the problem-solving features) and key metrics, the next step is to plan your marketing phase. This includes sources you will utilize, such as SMM, blogs, traditional marketing, etc., to market your product. However, keep these strategies flexible so you can adjust them later if needed.
3. Prototyping Stage
Let your team examine the product and create prototypes. It is suggested to have a clickable prototype for your digital product to rule out potential problems before entering the main product development phase.
However, when prototyping, it is important to work on essential elements like:
- Feasibility analysis
- Evaluation of market risks
- Planning development strategies and task assignments
Once you have crafted the development plan, assigned the tasks, and shared the timeline with your team, you should start building the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP of your solution must include core features first so you can check for the bottlenecks and rectify the errors.
4. Design Stage
After passing the prototyping phase, the next thing you need to work on is the initial product design process. For that, you must collaborate with the stakeholders to build a product mockup based on the MVP and consider your customers in mind.
Also Read: 7 Steps on Building a Great MVP
The design must align with the core functionalities of your product, and you may need to make several attempts to achieve that.
To make the initial design, you will need to:
- Hire expert software engineers and designers either an in-house team or by contacting staff augmentation services (the more affordable way)
- Maintain effective communication with your stakeholders
- Ask project development management and stakeholders for their feedback
- Redo the design until it is finalized
5. Market Acceptance and Testing Stages
In this phase, you need to test your product from different aspects to ensure it will be a market fit. This involves checking all the activities you performed for and on the product in the previous stages to make sure everything is working smoothly.
This is what this phase looks like:
- Testing MVP and solving problems that show up
- Using beta testers to ensure the high quality of the product
- Examining front-end functionalities to find coding issues
- Rectifying errors in the marketing plan and setting up all campaigns correctly before the final production
6. Launch Stage
The last stage of product development workflow is commercialization. In this phase, you launch the product to the market using the marketing strategies to attract potential customers. Although it’s a final step, you should always be willing to modify your product based on the user experience and feedback.
Product development workflow demands full attention. From conceptualization to launch, all six stages are the backbone of a victorious product development process. It is crucial to know that process development involves regular refining of methodologies to achieve great product quality. Understanding the importance of product development and picking the right workflow enables you to pass all the product development stages successfully.
At Slash, we are always ready to shape your idea into a successful digital product. Our expert software developers and designers specialize in Agile methodology and the latest IT frameworks to build thriving solutions. Contact us to let our squad guide you throughout the product development workflow adventure.
FAQs – Product Development Workflow
Q1. What is product development?
Product development definition means the process of designing, developing, and launching a digital product in the market.
Q2. How to create a product?
To create a digital product, you must follow the six stages of product development workflow: conceptualization, product definition, prototyping, designing, testing, and launch.
Q3. What is the product development lifecycle?
The product development life cycle consists of all workflow stages, from ideation to commercialization.
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