Top 8 Key Stages in the Product Development Process

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Posted on Nov. 1st, 2018, | By Mandy, WayKen Project Manager

To streamline the product development process and make it effective is an important goal in the construction process of many companies. There is a product design and development process from scratch, from an idea to a prototype to a product that goes live. Every step, whether a product, operation, development, test, etc., is important. It also provides a template for future product work or project processes. Especially for small and medium-sized development product companies, when there is no product-related process, whether the product can be completed on time and whether it can be completed with high quality has become the concern of many product managers and bosses.

In combination with WayKen production capacity and the cooperation with customers to sum up some experiences, we hope to give more people advice.

Our specialized product development team can divide the product process planning into 8 key eight stages: Project set up, Filter your ideas, Conceptual model validation phase, Develop marketing strategies for new products, Develop business models around new products, Actual production of new products, Market testing of new products and conclusion.

All the stages are explained below:

Step 1. Set Up the Project

The project approval stage is the stage that reflects the core functions of the product manager, defines the new product requirements and refines the core functions. Focus on customer needs and focus on solutions that meet 80 percent of user needs, rather than 20 percent of user needs. One person’s power is limited by establishing product participants. A team’s brainstorming, effective communication, and division of labor and cooperation can promote the progress of product development prototyping or prototype development more effectively.

Combining information about market opportunities, competitiveness, technical feasibility, production requirements, and feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the previous generation of products to determine the framework of the new product. This includes the conceptual design of the new product, the target market, the level of desired performance, the investment demand and the financial impact.

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Step 2. Filter Your Ideas

After brainstorming and early product demand surveys, you should probably have a number of ideas. But not all ideas are viable, and that’s when everyone needs to be involved in selecting the best option, and of course, keeping an alternative is also a way to ensure it. In the conceptual development and product planning process, new product projects move into the detailed design phase once the project is approved. The basic activities in this stage are the design and construction of product prototypes and the development of tools and equipment used in commercial production.

The core of detailed product engineering is the “design-build-test” cycle. The required products and processes are conceptually defined and embodied in the product prototype (which can be in a computer or in the physical form), which should then be tested for analog use of the product. If the prototype fails to show the desired performance characteristics, the product development engineer should seek design improvements to compensate for this difference and repeat the “design-build-test” cycle. The detailed product engineering phase ends with the final design of the product meeting the specified technical requirements and signing for approval.

Step 3. Conceptual Model Validation Phase

The third stage is the beginning of the product development process. In several product concepts, the seemingly appropriate product concepts are then pitted against competitors to finalize marketing and positioning strategies. Product concepts are introduced into customer focus groups in prototype form to understand their responses. Before enterprises decide whether a new product should be developed, they can also use small-scale experiments to verify concepts and opinions. The experiment may include sample making and consultation with potential customers. When the concept prototype is received, the next step is the prototype test, as well as the process of quality control. Make sure each part fits perfectly. If a problem is found at this stage, we can solve it in advance.

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Step 4. Develop Marketing Strategies for New Products

Marketing strategies include assessing market size, product demand, growth potential, and profit estimates for previous years.With the launch of the product, selection of distribution channels and first-year budget requirements, a further marketing strategic plan has been developed.

Step 5. Develop Business Models around New Products

The business model starts with estimated sales, purchase frequency, and the nature of the business. The next cost and expense estimates involve the production and distribution of new products. On this basis, the profit estimate has been achieved. Discount cash flow and other methods used to understand the feasibility of new products.

Step 6. Actual Production of New Products

A variety of possible products have been created, from prototypes to final products. Decide from an operational perspective whether it is technically and commercially viable to continue production. If the analysis shows that the cost is not within the estimate, the project is abandoned.

Step 7. Market Testing of New Products

New products have been prepared with brand names, packaging, and prices to attract space in consumers’ minds. After the launch of advertorials, advertisements, and products, the work will focus on the users. How to let the users use the products for the first time, how to let the users know about the products, and how to catch the users…It is the ability of operation and the trust of operators to provide excellent user experience so that users can like and love the product and cannot live without the product. At the same time, it should be proved that “good products come from operation”.Software products are more about product instructions, while the web is more about FAQ and less about “why”.

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Learn to summarize and to analyze and learn criticism, product online after the need to make a stage summary, whether it is a product, or people together, there is friction, have different opinions in the process of products are common, but the starting point must be around the product, put forward opinions, two product improvement and planning, it can be as a stage summary discussion focus, as well as how to strengthen the communication and collaboration, how to do the product operation.

The product development process is not unchanging, and there will be different requirements for different products. This process is also applicable to projects. For many companies without organizations such as UED, how to make products(how to create a prototype) or complete projects efficiently and quickly, reduce unnecessary work and become the basis of process simplification and specification.

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