Projects that don’t follow a clearly defined process often end up over budget, out of time and unsuccessful. That’s why so many great product ideas never make it to market.
To develop a successful product, you need to follow a proven product development process.
At Procept, the product development experts, our process has helped us successfully launch award-winning products and deliver projects for start-ups, Government and Fortune 500 companies.
In this article, we’ll help you gain a better understanding of the process so you can stay on the same page with your product development and engineering team.
The Product Development Process
1. Research & Investigation
Research is one of the most critical stages of developing a project. Looking at our product design case studies, you’ll notice that each project starts with careful research and thorough investigation to identify the problem we’re solving, the needs of the audience, and the resources we’ll need to deliver the solution.
We leverage our product management and engineering experience to help you select a product idea that meets your objectives. We offer expert recommendations and feedback, giving you a better understanding of the needs of your customers and the market.
In this stage, you’ll learn new and innovative ways to solve problems for your target audience and the product initiatives that can add new revenue streams to your company.
2. Proof of Concept
Before spending time and resources developing a product, you need to validate your ideas, as this helps prevent launching a product that no one wants or is too costly to manufacture.
The proof of concept (POC) stage is where you determine whether your idea is feasible. POC helps you decide whether or not you should move forward with your idea or return to the drawing board.
After validating your product design idea, we move forward with early-stage prototypes. In this stage, we’ll start developing your concepts and gradually see your ideas come to fruition with rapid testing in the market.
This part of the development process is where it’s helpful to have a strategy to manage project costs and timeframes. With a time and materials approach to product development, you can avoid letting your project expand beyond its intended scope and decrease the risk of unnecessary features delaying your development process.
3. Pilot System
The “pilot system” stage involves releasing a version of your product with most of its features completed and ready for review and feedback.
Some of the activities in this stage include industrial design, app development, software engineering, cloud development, and testing.
The testing we complete during the pilot system helps us identify the limitations of your product and get honest feedback from real users and paid testers.
The information you’ll gain during the pilot system stage helps to determine what works and what needs improvement before release.
4. Refine & Release
During the “refine & release” stage, we’ll refine your product based on the pilot testing completed in the previous stages.
At Procept, we use this stage to ensure that your product is ready for manufacturing and release. We complete design refinements, software improvements, and a manufacturing assessment.
We also use compliance testing and product certification to prepare your product for launch.
With the previous stages completed, we can move on to one of the most exciting parts of the development process – manufacturing.
Ensuring a smooth transition to manufacturing involves designing and setting up test systems, training staff on the product and test systems, and resolving engineering issues that could have occurred during manufacturing.
6. Support & Maintenance
At this point, your product is now available to your market – congratulations!
However, the product life cycle does not end with manufacturing.
With the product in the wild, you’ll start getting more user feedback and may uncover unexpected issues. Here’s where it’s critical to continue supporting your users and refining your product to give it the best chance of long-term success.
Ready to start your next project?
Have a new product idea? We’d love to help bring it to life! Our engineering team at Procept has developed hundreds of successful products for organisations of all sizes. We offer flexible product development solutions to help you achieve project goals.