When you’re developing a new product, jumping into product development without a clear strategy can decrease your chances of success. To give your new product a fighting chance, you need a vision and a clear plan to help keep your team aligned at each stage of the development process.
In this article, you’ll learn about the importance of a product development strategy and how you can create one to keep your project on track.
What Is a Product Development Strategy?
A product development strategy sets the direction for a new project. It establishes clear and defined goals for each stage of the development process and ensures everyone involved understands their roles and responsibilities.
There are several types of product development, including insourced, off-the-shelf, or outsourced. The type that’s best for your business will depend on your available resources, the timeline for your project and the scope of product development.
Once the product development type is chosen, the product development process follows these stages:
- Research & Investigation
- Proof of Concept
- Pilot System
- Refine & Release
- Manufacturing & Product Support
Without a clearly defined strategy and process, teams often skip steps and overlook essential details, which often cause significant delays, overblown budgets and loss in profits and market share by entering the market months or years after initially planned.
Your strategy keeps everyone focused on the big picture while ensuring that they meet specific milestones for staying on time and within budget.
Your strategic plan also ensures that your team receives feedback through each stage. However, every product requires a strategy built around the specific needs of the organisation.
At Procept, we do not use a “one-size-fits-most” approach. We work to ensure that you receive a product development strategy that best fits your business and specific product needs.
How to Plan a Product Development Strategy
Planning a product development strategy requires you to assess what you’re looking to achieve with your product. Your strategy should answer the following questions:
- What are the business goals?
- What are the revenue goals?
- How will success be measured?
If you explore our case studies of past product design projects, you can see that each client had a specific goal or vision that the product helped them achieve.
Your goals may be to launch a new product, refine an existing one to drive growth, or develop new revenue streams with additional product lines. Some of the most important elements for achieving these results include:
- Overall Vision
- Product Roadmap
- Success Metrics
- Team Building
Here is a closer look at each of these components.
Your Overall Vision
Before you can start on the product design for your project, you need to set the overall vision. The product vision explores more than just what your product aims to achieve–it looks at the business reasons behind wanting to bring your new product to life.
For example, you may want to introduce a product to solve a specific problem that your customers face or improve the quality of product offerings in your industry.
The vision that you set helps paint a clear picture of why you are taking the time to develop a new product.
Along with the vision, you need to set objectives. The objectives that you set help define your development strategy. Objectives also give your team a better understanding of what they need to accomplish.
Attracting more users, adding new features to an existing product, or entering a new market are all examples of objectives. Remember to use measurable, achievable and time-bound objectives for increased clarity.
After setting objectives, you can begin developing a roadmap. The roadmap offers a step-by-step plan for reaching each objective.
A clear product roadmap is also often divided into milestones, then further divided into the high-level tasks within those milestones.
By taking the time to develop your product roadmap upfront, you can get a more accurate view of the timelines and work involved, as well as realistic and thoroughly detailed budget requirements to meet your product launch goals.
Measuring what matters helps to keep project teams aligned and focused.
Within your overall vision, your strategy should include the business success metrics that you are looking to achieve, such as the number of users, leads generated, market penetration, percentage of resource costs your product saves, or revenue growth.
You also need to know how to track the success of your project through each stage of product development. Defining these metrics allows your team and the project managers to monitor progress and stay on track.
If the team fails to meet certain objectives based on the metrics that you set, you may need to stop and reassess your strategy before moving forward.
With the above considerations complete, you’ll be in an ideal position to build a team to help carry out your vision.
You may be able to build your team internally with requirements clearly identified through your strategy, augment your team with external support agencies such as Procept, or completely outsource your project for end-to-end development support.
Professional product development companies such as Procept can help you clearly define your product strategy and vision, help you identify any potential blind spots and work with you to refine your strategy.
At Procept, we support our customers through every stage of the process from business advice to concept design, manufacturing and support.
Get Started with Product Development
If you’re ready to start developing a product strategy for your business, contact our expert team at Procept. Contact us today to kick-start your project.