What Is the Product Development Cycle? Definition and Overview

This involves developing the manufacturing process, building prototypes, and ensuring products meet all safety and quality standards. Product development can be relatively simple or more complex involving many iterations in an Agile development environment. While the details of product development will look different at each organization, there are standard stages that nearly all teams cycle through — from setting strategy to analyzing success.

This entrepreneur underestimated how nice people can be when they’re sitting across from someone who’s energized about their problems and wanting to help. Customers will often tell you what you want to hear, especially when you are seeking validation. Use the invalidation interview to improve your customer discovery process. Sign up for Shopify’s free trial to access all of the tools and services you need to start, run, and grow your business. However, more often than not, entrepreneurs will work with a third party to prototype their product.

Stage-Gate Phase of Product Development

The goal is to maximize traffic and awareness about the new virtual trial feature as their new unique selling point. There are some phenomenal products live in the market that never reach the level of success they deserve simple because people don’t know about them. End users don’t have the time or energy to evaluate which products are most worth their time and attention; it’s the company’s job to market its products effectively.

product development

Program and project managers track resource allocation, risks, and bottlenecks while facilitating collaboration between teams. Engineers are responsible for “how” the product is built — collaborating on features and user stories, estimating work, planning sprints, and releasing new functionality. The team generated 80 iterations of the Waffle Taco before deciding on the final one.

Stage 3: Build a prototype.

In short, you need first to prioritize, summarise, and capture the main valid objectives of your product as well as the themes of the same, and then you cohesively manage all of these. Once you understand the problem you want to focus on, the value to deliver, and the business value to collect, you’re ready to define the product scope. Diverge before converging; use “how might we” questions to explore the problem space and imagine potential solutions. Employ techniques such as the crazy eights method to generate ideas, then narrow them down to test with the market. The goal is to find something that is desirable to customers, business-viable, and technologically feasible. Define the market you want to penetrate, then understand its size, mechanics, style (innovative, conservative), available options, and current satisfaction level.

The curiosity usually comes from a product manager or team lead who commits to learning everything they can about the customer. Creativity comes in when engineers and designers https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ take customer insight and turn it into workable products. In addition, this allows the team to enlist the feedback of actual users to make the product better incrementally.


You don’t need a professional quality drawing since you won’t be submitting it to a manufacturer at this stage. However, if you are not confident that you can produce a legible diagram that will make sense of your product, it is easy to find illustrators for hire on Dribbble, UpWork, or Minty. Visiting your competitors’ website and signing up for their email list will allow you to understand how they attract customers and make sales. Asking your own potential customers what they like or dislike about your competitors will also be important in defining your own competitive advantage. David Barnett, on the other hand, had to teach himself how to use 3D design software so he could prototype PopSockets, the now-popular phone accessory. This initial version of the product needs just enough functionality to be used by customers.

product development

Market research and product research are the starting points for a product developer. Developers also assess competitors’ products to identify important features and compare performance with equivalent company products. Research helps developers identify the key requirements for a new product or a product upgrade, according to Betterteam. It’s time to put the product strategy into place after everyone has agreed on it. Implementation teams may make timetables, divide down major topics into sprints, and establish product iterations. Here, the team needs to go through the thorough analysis of target niche, market trend, demand, and supply gap so that they can come with the product idea as per the need of their target customers.

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Earning this buy-in is often necessary to secure organizational approval to move ahead with new product development company. Therefore, it makes sense to give your product roadmap every advantage you can before presenting it to your stakeholders. With product vision and mission statements in hand, primary goals for the product can be established. These may be a little fuzzier in the early stages, such as finding product-market fit, but they can rapidly evolve into measurable KPIs or OKRs. These measurable targets help shape which features, enhancements, and capabilities the product needs to achieve them.

product development

Filtering those ideas that are not going to be suitable for you in the future will safeguard your time and empower your team to be more productive and target-oriented. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure you’re seeking objective customer insight at each step. Your model should also deliver hard data that helps you generate interest leading up to your launch. Also known as commercialization, this is when your product finally enters the marketplace. It’s common for your first release to include only the core features so that your product can simply move forward and start generating sales figures.

How Do Product Roadmaps Fit Into Product Development?

With LogRocket, you can understand the scope of the issues affecting your product and prioritize the changes that need to be made. LogRocket simplifies workflows by allowing Engineering and Design teams to work from the same data as you, eliminating any confusion about what needs to be done. To prepare for marketing activities, the product manager should set the budget and estimate ROI to get marketing plans approved by management before launch. Then, the marketing experts can carry out the actual campaign with the involvement of the product manager. Product managers can then plan the budget based on all the information gathered from the design and preliminary planning for building and launching the actual product.

  • The MVP is a version of your product with just enough functionality for early customers to use.
  • All this will help you come up with the idea that is highly pertinent as per the latest marketing trends, and hence chances of that idea to get converted into a successful product will for sure be higher.
  • Coordinate tasks and organize your product development process with Asana for product management.
  • Little explains that he was able to do so on a budget and within a few days’ time.
  • For example, when Tina Roth-Eisenberg’s daughter brought home some semi-permanent tattoos she felt were lacking, she mobilized her community of fellow designers to create Tattly.
  • It comes down to creating value — for your customers and for your business.

This is especially true if the targeted potential customers are to become actual customers. The goals of promotion are to present the product to the target audience — increase demand and illustrate the value of the product. Promotion includes advertisements, public relations and marketing campaigns. Each of these areas plays an important role in the process of defining, designing, prototyping, testing and delivering a final product.


It might be hard to know exactly why so many people abandoned the process, so you can step up your user testing to find out. Since product development can quickly become complicated, it’s important to take the time to plan before you begin to build your prototype. At this stage, it can often be helpful to have a clear product roadmap. The product development process has evolved in recent years and is now commonly used by dividing each step into six separate phases.