A company’s reputation is reflected in the brands and products it builds. All organizations strive to create products that reflect quality, sustainability and durability. A product’s lifecycle from its ideation to creation and shipping and distribution is a complex route and involves several processes, stages and teams across the company.
In this blog we attempt to understand all about product planning and development and the various stages involved in it.
Product development encompasses all the stages involved in a product’s lifecycle and includes everything from its ideation to design, development, testing, and finally shipping and delivery. Irrespective of what product is being developed, whether it’s an IT product or a manufacturing product, the product lifecycle is always the same.
The agile approach to product development was born in the nineties when a group of software experts got together and created the Agile Manifesto, the bible for the agile methodology which laid down the guidelines to create processes that would help teams to use new methods for software development. The aim of agile was to put the focus back on the team, customers and quality and help organizations cope with a changing business scenario, making them more resilient to change.
Agile uses the idea of iterative product development that requires the collaboration of self-organizing teams to define requirements and implement solutions. Agile product development produces high quality software—on time and within budget and which can improve on recommendations from the client.
There are many needs for Product Development:
While the stages in product development may be different for different organizations and products, there are a few standard steps that all products follow:
Ideation: Before jumping in and building the product, the need for the product has first to be established. What is its need, and what problem is it solving? How popular will it be?
These and more answers justifying the need for the product can be got from surveys, research and communication with clients and customers.
Product development includes stakeholders in order to understand their requirements and concerns while building the product. Every product development lifecycle must include a few basic steps which are important to ensure that the product delivered is of the expected quality.
Create a product vision: No product can be built without an idea and a vision. The product vision and idea will define how it will be built and for whom, how it will shape up and what solutions it will provide. The product vision is created after consultations with the stakeholders. Agile is all about the customers and it is important that they are involved from the beginning till the end in the product development.
The product vision is the primary stage in product development and also probably the most critical. It may be a little unclear in the early stages but through market research and analysis it soon develops into a ready reckoner for the team as it outlines the product goals and milestones that need to be delivered.
Product development is concerned with the actual development of the product. It may comprise of teams that are involved with the implementation of the product such as developers, designers, testers, etc.
Product Management on the other hand is a wider umbrella and comprises of how the product goals will align to the overall organizational objectives and business goals. It includes a whole lot of processes that are all concerned with building the product, improving it and marketing it. The product management team liaises often with the stakeholders and ensures their buy-in during product development.
The product roadmap helps the stakeholders see the broader strategic vision by aligning the product development with the goals and business objectives of the organization. The product roadmap helps the development team by giving them the vision of the product so that they might ensure meeting deadlines and delivering milestones, while avoiding scope creep and mitigating risks. The product roadmap is a go-to document for Product Owners and managers who use it to collaborate, assign tasks, create the product backlog and define priorities.
The product roadmap is also a reference point for the organizational leadership as it helps them understand the overall scope of the project, the liabilities, risks and the advantages associated with the product.
A Last Word
Product development is a continuous process. If there are consumers there will be product development. Agile has redefined product planning and development by putting the onus back on the customer. Agile product development follows methods that reduce overheads and streamline processes, ensuring timely deliveries and customer delight.
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