Productive development can symbolize the beginning of a new period of growth and success for your business. If you are launching a product development program, you will be filled with excitement and anticipation – but for you to fully actualize your product development ambitions, your product development needs to be sustainable. By improving the product development process, you are opening your business up to a future of innovation.
1. Identify Pain Points Early
What do you need your product to do? You need to work from the ground up and avoid the trap of developing a product based on features that you can add just because you can. You need to actually solve a problem, and to do that, you need to identify pain points. If you don’t run extensive research on your target customer or group, you will risk developing a product that nobody wants, wasting a tremendous amount of capital and time in the process. Many companies have made that mistake – don’t let it be you!
2. Find Materials More Efficiently
When you are developing a product that uses new materials and parts, many companies waste time finding and selecting components for designing, prototyping, and manufacturing. In the old days, this was understandable – it takes way too much time to find and ring up every possible supplier before then working out the cost/quality benefits for all your options.
Nowadays, that’s not necessary. Most people just search through the Octopart database and Common Parts Library, which has a range of commonly used parts and suppliers with all the information you need on prices, availabilities, technical specs, and part risk. – this helps you save substantially on time and resources
3. Create a Product Development Strategy
A product development strategy is essential to ensure that the development process runs as expected from beginning to launch. Your strategy should be informed by market research and identified pain points – but your product development strategy should also have a time frame that should act as a road map for launch. It should be informed by a realistic understanding of your current operations, as well as your working timeframes. Your strategy should also outline your approach to this particular product and its development process. You must refer back to this as a guide, so you are able to identify when all the necessary KPIs are not being hit early on, so you can re-strategize if necessary. Not doing so is a mistake, as you risk wasting time and resources having to reorganize and delay things when you are closer to the expected launch date.
4. Create a Dedicated Team
A launch can be unsuccessful if you spread the responsibility for its release across different departments or even too many individuals. That’s because of diffusion of responsibility – the psychological term for people thinking others are sure to fix problems, so they don’t bother to do so themselves. You need to make a team of people directly accountable, with a clear manager. Ensure this team has enough resources and doesn’t underestimate how focused good product development needs to be.