Product development refers to all stages involved in bringing a product from idea or concept through market release and beyond. In other words, product development incorporates a product’s entire journey.
What is the Standard Process of Product Development?
- Identifying a market need
- Quantifying the opportunity
- Conceptualizing the product
- Validating the solution
- Building the product roadmap
- Developing a minimum viable product (MVP)
- Releasing the MVP to the users
- Ongoing iteration based on the feedback received from the customers
Developing a product is not an easy task and thus incorporates several challenges.
Here are the primary challenges faced in the -process of product development.
Some businesses often hit idea roadblocks when making decisions. Sometimes, these challenges result from lacking actionable intel on the product and the end customer. Other times, ideation can stall due to disjointed workflows and bureaucracy.
- Market Viability
An idea may sound good on paper, but the application in the marketplace just lacks any financial promise. As a Product Manager (PM), constantly analyze a product’s market viability before development starts.
Market research will fetch you information about the competition and the target audience.
In addition, PMs need to gather information from the target audience to analyze the competition. Since these masses are the product’s potential consumers, you must collect information about their buying behaviour and interests.
- Product Roadmap
Product Managers can scuffle to manage the product roadmap even with a clear vision and defined plan. They often fumble with roadmap prioritization to get the best out of the initiative.
In such complex situations, you can prioritize by the KPIs or OKRs. You may also use the MoSCoW Model for your product based on the following:
- Will not haves
- Should haves
- Could haves
This model will save time spent on brain-racking to choose the best strategy. You can also leverage management tools like Gantt Charts to create a well-structured and optimized product roadmap.
- Workflow Management
The process of Workflow Management involves communication with every member of the company at the same time. You also have to solve conflicts between independent teams without a team lead.
So, leverage workflow management tools like Jira and Trello to organize the operations of the product. Build a centralized dashboard to track product contributors and task completion progress. You also need a more data-intensive monitoring system to track staff performance in a remote working atmosphere.
Also, ensure that everyone in the organization has access to crucial information. You can also build a fast-paced feedback loop. Furthermore, deliver regular updates to C-level executives for their input.
- Product Engineering
Engineering dependencies also hamper the progress of product initiatives. For instance, if you want to create a mobile app, and the design team misses the deadline, the entire development team has to wait until a prototype is ready for testing and review.
Product managers can combat these challenges by establishing a clear review cycle that features members of interdepartmental teams. Furthermore, they can try identifying other non-dependent initiatives and work on them while the gridlock is resolved.
By implementing this tactic, product managers can rescue timelines and keep product development on track.
- Pricing Policy
Nobody will buy the product or service if you charge too much. If you charge a low price, you risk incurring theft losses. So, it is all about finding a balance in pricing for your consumers.
Identifying the maximum amount your potential audience is ready to pay for the product is essential.
From the organization’s side, here are the crucial considerations when setting the pricing policy for a product:
- Hiring expenses
- Marketing expenses
- Product realization costs
You also need to consider market volatility when fixing an initial price. You may also establish a cost estimate by analyzing the competitors’ pricing policies.
The organization’s ability to meet deadlines and launch timelines will determine the actual product’s market positioning. Product managers should fine-tune operations to ensure everything goes according to the timeline.
Although all the challenges mentioned above affect the overall time-to-market, some roadblocks can stall the development process dramatically. While product managers have no control over some of these obstacles, others result from gross incompetence within the organization.
Here are common issues that can affect time to market:
- Unforeseen circumstances
- Legacy systems
- Hiring delays
- Compliance issues
- Post-launch improvisation
Every product-oriented business faces multiple challenges throughout a product’s life cycle. But an experienced product manager can identify and address these problems early before they can cause mass destruction.