In 2021, product development has gained super-speed and continues to evolve further. Despite the waves of Covid pandemics, companies keep up with their competitive abilities.
Everyday business founders try to engage in new product development techniques. And, the strategy they choose works fine for them. Of course, entrepreneur choices base on research analytics. About $2.23 trillion were spent by 2021 on research and development globally. And this number isn’t the limit yet.
But, would these methods of new product development be ok for everyone? Who needs to change their company processes for the process of developing a new product?
According to Booz, Allen, and Hamilton, new product development will suit those, who want to
- introduce a completely new product
- develop new product lines
- add to the existing product lines
- improve and revise the existing product
- reposition their product to the other markets
- reduce costs in deploying the new product
And that’s not even half of the new product development advantages to consider. Among the best practices are your success and market fit. Would you try new product development? Let’s discuss further why you should!
What is the new product development process for founders?
A founder is a person, who started or launched the product. He or she is the basis of everything and tries to set the right goals for future work.
When you are building a startup, it’s difficult. Particularly, a startup that is expanding at the rate of Tinder. You have to give 100%, and you have to be committed. Solving the problem has to be personal or else you’re going to disintegrate. - Sean Rad, Co-founder of Tinder, Inc
Product development is the process of implementing an idea you have into reality. The new product development process is a different thing. It also is a part of the software development lifecycle, but with a slight twist.
The process of new product development (NPD) requires bringing new products to market. But it’s not just a need, it’s triggered by:
- changes in user preferences
- increased market competition
- breakthroughs in technology
- idea monetization abilities
A business entrepreneur needs to understand what the software development market holds. Sometimes, even predict the trends and consumer preferences. Because it helps make smarter decisions and product improvements. And, correctly developed new products meet and exceed expectations.
What are these new products we are talking about? There are two types to consider:
- products that you haven’t got experience in but others have
- innovative authentic products or the improved existing ones
The new product development method is not only for business owners. If you are a
- sole trader
use NPD for research, development, and introduction of new products/improvements. NPD is not hard to master and is brilliant in usage.
Also, the NPD process will need a pre-planned strategy. Before engaging in a completely new process, it is vital to:
- Define your product
- Identify market needs
- Establish a reasonable timeline
- Identify core issues/approaches
So, let’s discuss the stages of new product development process.
7 basic steps in new product development
There are seven stages of new product development. These are:
The first and the utmost step to ensure a good start is to brainstorm an idea. This process requires research of the market, analysis of trends, and product perspectives. And, also, there should be user feedback.
Sometimes, it is hard to pull up a solid product concept at once. The same strategy can is implementable in product enhancement with features and functionality. But never stop if there are difficulties. Usually,
If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. - Albert Einstein
The step requires making sure your concept is innovative. And, feasible enough to get going with it.
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere. - Lee Iacocca
What’s to consider then? Here are some tips if you want to research your concept yourself:
- To understand whether your idea is any good talk about it with your closest family and friends
- To get feedback on your idea make an online survey or ask users of online forums like Quora or Reddit
- Research market user demand or google if it is trendy on Google Trends
- Analyze what are the costs to implement your idea and figure out a crowdfunding campaign
Or you can outsource the research and analysis part to a team of experts. The team can perform a proof of concept. Find out more about the Importance of Proof of Concept here. A better option and a deeper analysis, the product discovery service, can be performed as well.
The third step is all about making a detailed plan of everything you are going to do ahead. For example, visualize how would your product look like. Or, at least, research the relevant products. See their design, features, etc. The more you’ll shape your product’s visual part the better.
Your plan should be carefully designed and effective. Don’t miss out on the possible risks and unexpected circumstances. The more you can envision your product development the better it will be implemented.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Prototyping is a process when you create a visual representation of the product. Every screen you get to develop will be the potential product you can share with users to get feedback. Only users test the product’s functionality. And then they tell you everything they like and dislike about it.
Prototyping depends on the type of product you want to develop. Because prototypes can differ greatly. On the one hand, there are products you can prototype yourself. And, on the other hand, you’ll need to engage with a software development vendor to get your idea prototyped.
After creating a successful product prototype, you should focus on finding partners. Under the word “partners” there're:
- potential outsourcing vendors
- software development activities
- software & hardware resources
- software engineers
- project managers
to create and get the product to the market. This process is also ab attempt to build your supply chain.
If you don’t have standardized processes how are you going to provide a consistent way to automate them? - SupplyChainToday.com
During sourcing, you will probably consider two options for your product production. These are local and overseas. But the advantages and disadvantages of each are on you. Only you decide whether to start from small and then expand. Or whether your product should be shipped worldwide.
After researching, planning, prototyping, and sourcing think about the costs. You can start this journey by creating a spreadsheet where you will fill in all the costs. For example,
- raw materials
- factory setup costs
- manufacturing costs
- shipping costs
and everything between your product and your customer.
Identify where the mass of target buyers is and what prices these buyers are prepared to pay for the products and services they currently use. ― W. Chan Kim
Also, it would be great to predict the cost of goods sold (COGS). And, based on this number you can determine a retail price and gross margin. Calculate the total GOGS. Come up with a unique pricing strategy that will make you prosper and receive profits.
Having all the other steps covered, it is time to introduce your product to the market. How? Let’s figure out what you can do here. For example, you can
- Send emails to your potential users about the product launch
- Design a marketing campaign
- Cooperate with influencers and experts in your product’s niche
- Feature your product in news sheets and leaflets
- As early customers to make a review of your product
Setting customer expectations at a level that is aligned with consistently deliverable levels of customer service requires that your whole staff, from product development to marketing, works in harmony with your brand image. - Richard Branson
What is the new product development process?
Top new product development process steps, require having extra skills and knowledge. So, if you are a tech-savvy founder, you probably know what it takes to set up the right process. And, the project management skills your team needs to operate with.
But, you can be non-tech-savvy. And have no clue what project management skills you should have. So, let’s enlist them further. Perhaps, they will remind you of the steps to build an MVP. These are interdependent things. It even is sort of the Minimum viable process.
The most important phases of new product development process include:
Documentation gathering & development
This stage involves documenting the requirements of all stakeholders on the project. As a result, you will get
- a list of requirements
- deliverables you can potentially measure
- correct feature supply for consumer needs
- functionality test cases
Project result prediction & estimation
The second stage requires evaluating two potential project outcomes:
- Optimistic result (timelines, development process, budget)
- Pessimistic result (timelines, development process, budget)
Having everything considered beforehand allows being prepared for the unexpected.
Non-functional scope establishment
Establish what non-functional features will be present in your product development. This will allow
- cardinal cost reduction
- save valuable time
- become a risk-free option
if these requirements impact both time and cost.
If you cannot meet the timeline and budget, think of the product features that can be added later. Scope reduction is essential.
Development process planning
Plan your development process in iterations. Every iteration is a two-week process repeated to achieve the final product result. Each product development may have several iterations to cover. Or even more. It depends on the project’s complexity. Also, make a project roadmap.
Potential risk tracking & management
To manage risks, you have to rely on your pre-project analysis and develop a matrix. The matrix will be responsible for issue elimination. Especially, it will prevent issues causing major problems during development.
Project execution stage
Project progress is one of the most important measurements you need to engage in on a daily basis. Why? You can correct the process by proposing valuable project solutions. Also, propose cooperation techniques, and add positive points to project risk management.
Founders' Tech Knowledge Required for Successful New Product Development Process
For the non-technical founders, it is vital to be aware of the following:
1. How to choose a programming language? To understand what you are going to deal with, define your objectives. For instance, if your project will be a website, a mobile app, or a cross-platform solution. Then, make research on your platform choice. Get to know what are the programming languages used by competitors. Don’t just find out the names. Get to know why they use this technology and what does it give them in the end. Some insights may be drawn from StackOverflow Developer Survey 2020.
2. Custom development or a ready-made solution? Custom development requires building your product from scratch to any customer there is. This means you will need to
- gather requirements
- define the scope of work
- provide software development services
based on your startup’s innovative decision for businesses. So, you will have to adjust a lot.
The other thing is to develop a ready-made solution and to offer it as it is, with a unique set of features and tools. Not every feature and every tool will be useful for customers. But, in general, your product will gain trust and customer satisfaction.
So, are you a product builder or a product seller? Your answer is crucial because it defines your focus.
3. What development method to implement?
Finding the right method is important to set up the right process from the start. Be it Agile methodology or Waterfall, or even DevOps. Remember, this methodology should enhance your product development processes and not vice versa.
4. How to hire a software developer?
Also, you need to know how to hire software developers. As a founder of a completely innovative product or a startup, you probably will have a limited budget. Consider outsourcing your software development or hiring people from UpWork or Linkedin platforms. And, there is a chance to hire your family and friends, or friends of your friends to meet the cost limit. But, it depends. It would be wiser to hire the whole team at once and start development. Hiring one by one requires extra time. You, as a founder, have to interview people and ask someone to check their skills. This will put your product development on hold.
Best new product development process examples
Have you ever heard about the famous company’s product development strategies? For example, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple? Here are the new product development examples of these giants!
Google focuses on technologies. Their approach in product development is market-oriented. They want to achieve a big market presence. Also, they believe that technologies can solve any problem for them. To scale, Google aims at growth, not the profit part. That’s why Google is considered to be a market leader.
Unlike Google, Amazon is mainly customer-oriented. The biggest aim of Amazon product development is to meet customer needs. and not just like that, but in every possible way. So, before launching a product, they tend to write about it and then release the product. The press release they offer to users is deprived of technical wording. So, it is super easy to understand. And, the user response is better. User needs are covered by the press and then they meet the product itself.
Microsoft envisions constant innovation in product development. Therefore, the tech giant immensely invests in AI and cloud development. Among the changes crucial for Microsoft was the need to highlight partnerships. And, also, it’s an open-source software builder offering a discrete product.
Apple happens to have a platform strategy. And, it’s self-explanatory. Everything comes from their unique platform. The product strategy apple practices are product-focused. Why? Because Apple tends to introduce new products. And then find its potential users and market the products in the right way. Apple believes users will pay for applications and things that have high quality. So, they optimize their offerings to achieve the highest level of performance. And, the kind of strategy works pretty fine for them. Users are brand-loyal. Apple is always on top and surpasses the same offerings of their competitors easily.
Inoxoft is an SD company that can help you with your first steps in new product development. Founders of startups can turn to us to receive a
- Solid consultation on new product development, and get to know how we engage
- Proof of Concept, to understand whether the idea is feasible; recommendation on the development
- Discovery phase services, where entrepreneurs will have an extended analysis of the projects
- Software development team per the founder’s needs (Dedicated team, Rent-a-team, Project team)
And, if you decide to work with Inoxoft, you will get a lot more. We can become your trusted partner in product building.
Consider Inoxoft your trusted partner
As your trusted partner, Inoxoft provides custom mobile applications development. And also ui/ux design and development services. If you are looking for the best outsourcing vendor on the market - contact us and let’s have a chat!
Inoxoft has 7 years of experience in the global software development market. So, we know trends and industry-related possibilities in Education, Healthcare, Logistics industries. Also, in the Financial, and Real Estate industries.
Our certified engineers and team members are creative and skilled. We will listen to your needs and will try to implement your idea meeting 100% of the requirements. Count on us in your new product development! Grow your business with us and receive lots of customers worldwide!
New product development process is a good strategy to start a development journey. New product development phases are different from the common project life cycle. But they give a good output. If you want to succeed from the start, learn the new product development process examples. And do your best to relate. You are the founder and the creator of your company’s working methodology. Get to do more with the right development techniques!
Originally published at https://inoxoft.com/blog/basic-founders-knowledge-required-for-successful-new-product-development-process/ on October 5, 2021.