A Step-by-Step Guide to the Product Development Process
According to studies, 56% of business owners believe their product manager’s skills have room for improvement.
In today’s world, it seems like there’s a new product on the market every day. Whether you own a start-up or work for a tech giant, developing and releasing your product can be an exciting – but also daunting – process.
At its core, the product development process is comprised of several stages that companies go through from beginning to end. While not all products will undergo every stage (for example, some skip the initial research phase), each stage is equally important to produce quality, innovative products that will keep consumers coming back for more.
Let’s take a closer look at each step of the product development process:
What Is Product Development?
Before we can dive into the various stages of product development, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what this process entails.
Product development is the process companies use to create new products. This usually starts with a lot of research and testing, as well as careful planning. Many different departments or teams within a company work together to make this happen.
The Stages of Product Development
While all product development processes will differ slightly from one another, there are generally considered to be seven core stages that most successful products go through. Let’s go through them now:
1. Ideation and Conceptualization
The first stage of product development is when companies think of new products. This can be done by researching the market, observing customer behavior, or brainstorming with a team.
Once an idea has been generated, it’s time to start fleshing it out into a more concrete concept.
2. Market Research
After settling on a concept, the next step is to conduct market research to determine whether or not there is a demand for the product. This includes analyzing the competition, understanding customer needs and wants, and developing buyer personas. All of this information will be used to help fine-tune the product concept.
3. Business Plan Development
Once the market research phase is complete and it’s been determined that there is indeed a demand for the product, the next step is to develop a business plan. This will include setting objectives, outlining strategies, and estimating costs. The goal at this stage is to create a roadmap that will guide the product development process moving forward.
4. Prototype Development
Once the business plan is complete, the next step is to create a prototype of the product. This could involve designing and building a physical prototype (such as creating computer models, 3D-printed designs, or using clay to build a mockup), or it could be in the form of software code if working on an app or digital product.
The purpose of this stage is to test out different design ideas and iterate until a final design has been settled upon.
Depending on the type of product being developed, it may be necessary to seek funding from investors or launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for production. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become increasingly popular in recent years as they allow companies to gather early support for their products.
6. Design and Production
Once a design has been finalized, the next step is to produce the product. This can involve working with manufacturers and suppliers, as well as creating packaging materials and marketing collateral. Additionally, organizations may need to seek patents or trademarks for their products at this stage to protect them from potential infringement.
7. Marketing and Distribution
The final stage of China product development is marketing and distribution. This is when companies start promoting their products to generate awareness and interest, as well as making them available for purchase through various channels.
Additionally, some organizations may choose to provide support or warranty services for their products at this stage.
Now that we’ve gone through each stage of product development in China, let’s take a look at how long it generally takes for products to go from concept to launch.
How Long Does It Take to Develop a New Product?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. This is because the amount of time it takes to develop a new product will vary depending on factors such as the type of product being developed, the number of people involved in the process, and the overall complexity of the product.
That said, we can offer some general guidelines based on our experience working with companies in a wide range of industries. For example, ideation and conceptualization typically take 1-3 months depending on factors such as how many ideas are being explored at once and how large the team is.
Similarly, market research can take anywhere from 2-6 months to complete depending on factors such as how much information you need to gather and how long it takes to analyze that data.
Once you have collected all of this information, it’s time to start building out a business plan. This usually takes 3-6 months for most organizations, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the product and the availability of resources.
After the business plan is complete, it’s time to start developing a prototype. This can vary widely in terms of time and effort, but it typically takes 2-4 months to create a working prototype.
Finally, once the prototype has been created, it’s time to start seeking funding and preparing for production. The amount of time this takes will again depend on factors such as the type of product being developed and how much money is needed to get started.
For example, launching a crowdfunding campaign can take anywhere from 1-3 months, while seeking venture capital can take 6-12 months or longer.
Need Help With Your Product Development Process?
The product development process can be long and arduous, but it’s worth it in the end. By taking the time to go through each step, you can ensure that your product is high quality and meets customer needs.
If you need help along the way, our team of experts at Shield Works are here to assist you. We have years of experience helping businesses develop products that sell. What stage of product development are you currently in?
Check out our services page for more information on how we can help you bring your product to market. Feel free to contact us!