Let’s Talk Product Development
One of the challenges entrepreneurs face is converting ideas for new products into actual commodities, that achieve commercial success. Even researching other great businesses usually does not help as their product development process was not straight forward. A lot of companies experience a lot of trial and error until they discover that ‘ah-ha’ moment.
However, not all businesses have this luxury, especially in the 21st century where a product can make or break an organization. The right product at the right time brings success. The right product at the wrong time will result in product failure. The wrong product at the right time, that can kill a business. This makes it valuable to have a product development process, as part of your business system. Such a process allows you to have perfect product-market fit. It helps prepare you for each stage of development of the product.
What is involved in Product Development?
As is the case with all product development, it all begins with a particular idea that goes through the process of assessment, through feasibility studies, then continues through a number of critical steps that culminate in commercialization.
Below is the Product Development Process
Step 1: Feasibility & Market Studies
The goal in this stage is to make sure that your idea is doable. Based on the technology that is available, the cost of making the product and more importantly market reach to make sure there is a market for your product. From here we can see that, for instance, a portable VHS player may not be the most viable product.
Step 2: Research
At this point, we want to create a plan. So, we need to gather as much information as we can. Conduct research to find out how best to build your product, and what features your product will require. What have companies with similar products used? What are the best materials? What is the best location to build this product?
Step 3: Design & Development
Based on the information found in the previous step we now move on to create plans, drawings, flowcharts, schematics, code, and other design and development components to outline and fulfill the product requirements.
Step 4: Alpha Prototype
Based on the design developed in step 3, your product can now be built, and you can determine if it matches the specifications as well as whether the results are what was expected.
Step 5: Beta Prototype
After analyzing the results from step 4 and needed adjustments have been determined; adjustments and upgrades can now be made to your product to prepare it for rigorous testing.
Step 6: Engineering Qualification & Benchmarking
Test your product in the environment where it will be used, paying special attention to compliance with safety standards.
Step 7: Final Product
Based on test results, make final adjustments to the product and prepare for production.
Step 8: New Product Introduction (NPI)
Now that you have a finished product, documentation is required to manufacture the product. Documentation occurs throughout the product development process. It is critical that everyone who works on the products documents what they have done. This will help with communication with investors and other stakeholders.
Step 9: Commercialization
Select manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and marketers who will enable you to get your product into the market.
During product development, each journey to a finished product is different and every industry has its own unique set of quirks involved in creating something new. If you find yourself struggling to figure it all out, remember that every product that came before yours had to overcome the same challenges.
By following these steps as you undergo your own product development process, you can break down the overwhelming task of bringing a new product to market, into more digestible phases.
No matter what you’re developing, by putting in all the necessary preparation—through these steps you can set yourself up for a successful final product. And hey! We are also here to help you go through this process.
One of the things we offer at i-onCONNECT is product and technology development services. We help you cover all aspects of developing innovative products and technological solutions by taking your projects all the way from concept to commercialization. Whether you are looking to temporarily strengthen your internal development and design team or seeking a long-term collaboration, we will bring knowledge and value to your projects as a strong development partner. We have nine steps to help you through the process from beginning to end.