What is Product Development?
Product development typically refers to all stages involved in bringing a product from concept or idea through market release and beyond. In other words, product development incorporates a product’s entire journey.
Standard Stages of Progress in Product Development
There are many steps to this process, and it’s not the same path for every organization, but these are the most common stages through which products typically progress:
Identifying a market need.
Products solve problems. So identifying a problem that needs solving (or a better way of being solved) is where this journey should begin. Conversations with potential customers, surveys, and other user research activities can inform this step.
Quantifying the opportunity.
Not every problem is problematic enough to warrant a product-based solution. However, the pain it causes and the number of people or organizations it impacts can determine whether it’s a worthy problem to solve and if people are willing to pay for a solution (be it with money or their data).
Conceptualizing the product.
Some solutions may be obvious, while others may be less intuitive. Here’s where the team puts in the effort and applies their creativity to devising how a product might serve its needs.
Before too much time is spent prototyping and design, whether the proposed solution is viable should be tested. Of course, this can still happen at the conceptual level. Still, it is an early test to see whether the particular product idea is worth pursuing further or if it will be rejected or only lightly adopted by the target user.