Product Development Processes
What Is the Product Development Processes and who is Involved?
New Product Development is a complete process that transfers a service or product from concept to market. New or renamed products and services are designing to meet consumer demand or market opportunities. Product development steps include concept development, design creation, product or service development, and marketing definition.
When you define your product, there are several questions that you should ask as soon as possible. You can distribute these questions in your creation process or include them in a checklist before moving on to development. The goal is to ensure that all of your bases are covering before moving on and that your future consumers do not surprise you with questions that you cannot answer. These include:
- Who is my customer?
- Who else would be interested in this product?
- What does your customer information say about how they will use the proposed product?
- What is our initial plan of how to position this product in the market?
- What is this product advantage over the competition?
- What is the specific customer needs that this product can satisfy?
- What voluntary benefits will this product deliver?
- How much do we expect our customers to pay for this product?
- What features will this product include?
- How do we expect to promote this product?
- Where do we expect customers to use this product?
It is worth remembering that any projects require the participation of various specialists. Different industries need different approaches, but the main aspects of the development process must remain unchanged. The team should include professionals with multiple roles who work to obtain the best solution that meets the goals and requirements of the client or consumer.
Let's take a look at the critical professional roles required to develop a quality product.
A business analyst participates in the project from the first stage. His primary duty is to communicate with both the client and the development team.
Customers usually think primarily about their goals. The working team, however, thinks about the functions, focusing on how to do what the client wants and solve his tasks. But between the client's goals and roles lies a whole chasm. Therefore, the business analyst must accurately determine what the customer wants and what he needs.
A business analyst collects customer requirements for the desired product, analyzes how it should look, what features should embedding in the development, and why and how it should complete.
The business analyst also conducts a study of competitors together with marketing specialists to ensure the stability of the product in the market and its competitiveness with existing products. He also defines the target audience of the product, creates custom characters, wireframes, and writes terms of reference if the client did not adequately provide it.
Thus, a business analyst's role is to plan the optimal development process, interpret customer requirements, prepare documentation, and implement effective communication between the client and the team.
Product Owner knows everything about the needs and difficulties of the user, the capabilities of the team, and their shared interests for the benefit of the whole project. Product Owner generates the idea and knows all the details of how it should look like in the end.
Project Manager and Product Owner are not the same things. The project manager is the leader, and he distributes the tasks and workload, checks, and manages the process again. And the product owner knows more about the product itself. He sees what the result should be and knows how the team will achieve it. Controlling each stage, he corrects the course and says what to do next.
Product Owner is responsible for the product at all stages of its creation:
- for the value of the product;
- for the product backlog, what will go there and in what sequence the team will do it;
- for a single vision, everyone in the group has access to the tasks and understands them equally.
It is the core of the team, people with a specific field of knowledge. Developers are like translators, they translate all ideas into a real result, precisely the one that the client wants. The development team works as a single cohesive organism, developing a product, testing it, discussing, making improvements.
What are Common Flows of the Product Development Process?
When creating a new product, the customer must decide not only on the development team's choice but also on the appropriate project development methodology. At the present stage of technology development, there is no universal approach to creating a product, so the logical question arises: which approach to choose, and which "pitfalls" exist?
The most popular product development methods are Waterfall - cascading, and Agile - flexible. A wrong choice of methodology can adversely affect your project, so you need to take into account the features of each of them.
Waterfall involves a sequential transition to each stage of development and the inability to return one step. It will be possible to make any changes only after the release of the project.
Choosing this model for your project, you need to understand that the final product will have flaws. It is impossible to foresee everything at the stage of analysis and planning; new requirements may appear during the development process. However, in the Waterfall, it's impossible to make corrections during the project and go back one step. The classical approach is a cascading model based on the sequential creation of a project, divided into cycles.
Advantages of the Waterfall Method:
- Intuitive work structure, both for experienced professionals and beginners.
- A detailed structured work plan and elaborate documentation.
- The tasks set for the team are precise and do not change throughout the project.
Disadvantages of the Waterfall Method:
- The requirements for the project are fixed at the beginning and cannot be changing until the end of the work. This fact deprives the project of flexibility.
- In most cases, a large amount of money, time, and resources are spending.
- Inability to make changes during the development process.
- The customer will see the finished project only after its release, if necessary, changes may require additional funds and time.
- The interaction between the development stages is absent.
Agile uncovering better ways of developing products by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work, Agile Method has come to value:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working product over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The process of creating a product according to Agile Methodology is continuous. It includes the following repeating sections, such as planning (analysis, backlog), development (design, testing), release (DevOps, release management), feedback (screening, KPI).
Advantages of the Agile Method:
- It is a realistic approach to product development.
- It promotes teamwork and cross-training.
- Functionality can be developed rapidly and demonstrated.
- Suitable for fixed or changing requirements
- It delivers first partial working solutions.
- A good model for environments that change steadily.
- Easy to manage.
- It gives flexibility to developers.
Disadvantages of the Agile Method:
- It is almost impossible to calculate the final costs - the requirements can continuously change depending on the project's features. The difficulty lies in the fact that they can contradict an existing structure.
- Agile requires a lot of involvement in the process and full immersion in it, which can be difficult, especially for young product developers.
- The ability to make frequent edits can turn out to be a risk in the project's continuous improvement. The reverse side is also possible here - a decrease in the quality of the product. All changes must be agreed on by the team and approved by the product owner.
Each of the models has a particular set of characteristics and is suitable for implementing projects in different directions.
The New Product Development Framework
Nowadays, when the market and needs are changing rapidly, the Waterfall development methodology no longer shows the result that modern consumer needs. Therefore, we are inclined and recommend using only the Agile method. Of course, in extreme cases, when you precisely understand what you are doing, clearly see the result, and are ready to pay more for development, you can use the Waterfall methodology.
Here the fundamental principles of Agile Manifesto are:
- early and constant product delivery for complete customer satisfaction
- encouraging changes to requirements, even at a late stage of development, gives a competitive advantage to the client
- frequent product delivery at intervals of a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for a shorter time frame
- managers and developers must work together daily throughout the project
- to develop among motivated people, trusting them and providing the necessary support
- information should discuss within the development team
- working software is the primary measure of progress
- contribute to sustainable development, and sponsors, developers, and users need to maintain a constant pace ad infinitum
- continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances maneuverability
- simplicity is the art of maximizing quantity not done work, and this is essential
- the best architectures, requirements, and designs come out of self-organizing teams
- regularly, that is, continuously, the team should think about how to become more productive and improve the product, and, accordingly, change their behavior
We follow the principles of Agile in our company. If you follow this methodology, you will have to work every day, even after the release, on what you did in the product development process - again and again, go through the entire development cycle by Agile. Success will come guaranteed, no matter what development concept you use.
What Our Best Points for Your Product Development Process?
At Amoniac, we use the Agile method daily. It is convenient for working with all the projects that we receive. It is possible to give the client exactly the product that he sees and develops further.
There are several development management methodologies in the Agile model like Scrum, Lean, Kanban, Six Sigma, PRINCE2, etc. For development, we chose Scrum and Kanban. Moreover, we did not stop at any one method, we use both and each of them in due time, depending on the stage of product development.
In Scrum, tasks are usually evaluating in Story points or hours. Without an assessment, we will not be able to form a sprint: after all, we need to know whether we will manage to complete the tasks in 2 weeks. After two weeks, we get valuable statistics - how many hours or Story points the team was able to do for the sprint. Velocity is team performance in one sprint. This parameter allows our Scrum manager to predict where the team will be in 2 weeks. Therefore, we use the Scrum methodology when launching new projects.
At Kanban, it is not customary to make an assessment. It is optional, the team decides for itself. There is no concept of "teamwork speed," only the average time per task is considering. This time is calculating using a special report - Cycle Time. Therefore, we use the Kanban methodology when the project is at the support or scaling stage.
Your Product Life After Release
The launch celebration is over, the product is launching, and finally, it's time to take a break after several weeks of hard work. But what happens after the product launches? The product owner still plays an essential role in supporting the product after its launch. If you want to see your product always up to date and in demand, then continue the development process continuously.
Most of this post-release life is analytics, feedback on our actions, our eyes in the grocery world. The developer needs the results of product analytics so that all subsequent changes in it are not deteriorating. Therefore, users are dividing into groups according to specific criteria, and their behavior is monitoring over time based on version control of the product.
Typically, metrics are tied to critical points in the product user's life cycle to track the success of a product's user movement and find bottlenecks that need attention. The user's path to the product can trace in terms of participation and monetization.
And only by tracking user behavior, the real market reaction to the product, you can and must move on. Note such issues as product support, scaling, backups, etc. If any errors are founding in the product, think about repairing and developing new features.
Always remember one crucial point in the development process. You make a product for your customers, but there will always be a percentage of users whom it will not suit. It is impossible to develop a product that suits everyone, concentrating on those who are satisfied and bringing you not only feedback but also financial growth.
Everything could make to launch a product. Still, successful launch and then the life of the product is a series of algorithms created during research and must be following throughout the development process. Each Product Owner who is interested in a quality product is obliged to devote a lot of time to it. If he does not, no methodology will save the product from complete collapse, even if the development team is fully involved and satisfied with the process.