By Iron and Fire: The Wizardry of Product Development

Being engaged in the product development process, I keep receiving the same question, “Why did you build this particular product in this particular spot?” Unfortunately for everybody it’s not that easy to give a valid and quick answer to this question as it seems. I haven’t obtained my doctor degree in sorcery yet and I can’t draw a magic circle or pentagram of some kind that would help me to summon the demons of product development who would tell me what features to build and when. Before a product can start its adventure through the product life cycle stages, it must first be proved and developed.

Initiating new products is always a huge component of any production process and as soon as new ideas start to languish on the drawing board they should be implemented right away. Most organizations understand that all products have a defined lifespan, and so new products need to come into existence to take over and keep the company afloat and going.

To the same extent that each product life cycle has numerous stages, new product development is also divided into clearly defined steps. So while Im developing my wizardry skills and keep practicing magic spells, I offer you to enter our sorceror’s den where you can find a few key elements I hold on to in order to make sure that our products are aligned with corporate objective and accepted in terms of market and user demands.

So here are Eight Key Elements of Successful Product Development:

The Vision is what every product initiates from. Sometimes, this might be simple enough, establishing the product on something identical that already exists. Or, it might be something different, exclusive and authentic, which indicates that the vision formation detail of the process is far more included in decision making. The tolerance for creativity is the highest, and the attitude toward accepting new products is the most favorable. Marketing any new product is fraught with a whole lot of dangers and pitfalls. The dynamic of the market demands constant change and adjustment. That’s why, many of the well-known companies will have the entire division that focuses purely on the way of catching up with the next big thing. So after you have generated a fountain of ideas for an enterprise, you should start analyzing the market. This allows to see if there’s a chance to bring a demand for particular type of product, and also what kind of features should be implemented in order to best meet the needs of this market capability.

Recognition comes easier than flashing on a great idea you just need to share it out; the main thing is addressing it to the right people. Who might that be those ‘right’ people? Understandably clear we’re talking about users. Everybody knows that users are the main reason to build great competitive products in the first place. However, more than just being aware of their existence, we need to realize how our product will adjust to their everyday life and what is most probable value it will bring them. In order to grasp the main point of the matter of your niche, we run a short survey listening attentively to all the comments and ask questions so as to validate and prove that the proposed initiatives meet with widespread approval of the audience and their objectives. If there are some modifications needed or any technological constraints, we’ll impose all the possible solutions to them before executing a complex project.

The Concept is what every product is derived from so on the next stage we establish scenarios mapping in order to come up with the best one for our product. Designers and engineers develop certain prototypes and elements of the conceptual product design that are both technically feasible and economically viable. Engineers develop a preparatory stage of the overall building process, while designers develop modeling, layout and rendering options. Effectively, this means to perceive the product from the user’s perspective, putting functional prototypes in the hands of potential users to see how they react and how it works. During the process of assessment and tradeoffs between performance attributes, a final version is chosen.

Estimation. Another process which is being carried out simultaneously involves estimating all the resources needed for the future development and assessing its commercial potential. It is mandatory to depend on the product and its requirements, the guidelines, the characteristics of prototype, the resources of time and manpower and the costs.

Now we have grounds to define more precisely what our product should look like and move forward with a Product Strategy. Product Strategy is not only about a specification of features, it is the embodiment of a specified state of what we are trying to obtain and how we are going to do that trick. At this stage, we schedule a complex program of our product. We’ll also try to take into account the instant and long-term requirements like third-party maintenance and network support. The ultimate goal is to ensure that business objectives, technology, and creative design are captured properly and communicated to all team members. Following this connection of efforts, we create The Product Strategy devided into modules, dependencies, milestones, required assets and liabilities, and the product technical conditions.

Product Strategy helps to build up logical blocks of work that will support Product Development. The objective of Product Development is to generate a product that meets the requirements and expectations of our users and pass it over into their hands with dispatch. This is not to say that we have to build any attractive additional features or trimmings that our strategy originally has drawn. We will table that for later, yet in the final stages of an enterprise we should focus our efforts on enduring fundamental principles and act in such a way as intentionally to give someone an advantage by means of our product using already available technology.

Testing checks and proves the validity of the product that it functions properly and is technically stable, and also verifies that a product is helpful and effective. Testing directly conducted with a specific user base requires a Beta version. Thus we will uncover design issues and incompatibilities that may not have naturally been detected in any other way. It is of the utmost importance to provide a decent feedback and let a user to reach out to a product in a natural way. A viable Beta program can expand into another round of Recognition, either shaped like a new product or as an extension of the product being approved.

Launch. Lastly, when a product enables to make it all the way round all circles of development, there’s only one little thing left to do is bring it at the market. Immediately after that, the product life cycle executive will make sure the company uses their effort, commitment and investment to the best advantage. The equation is simple: research breeds high demand products.

Originally published at on August 1, 2016.