The 7 Phases of Product Development
Every product on the market has a backstory. A team of masterminds invest weeks, months and sometimes even years, into designing new and more innovative products that will hopefully answer customer questions, solve customer problems and make lives better.
This talented team develops each product in 7 phases:
Phase 1. Discovery
Objective: Find a problem to solve
This is the initiation phase, where the Product Manager talks to customers, listens to their feedback, what they are asking for and pays attention to customers using competing products. Once you know what features are most valued to customers, the main goal is to obtain, validate and implement customer feedback.
Phase 2. Define
Objective: Determine the MVP – (Minimum Viable Product)
The goal is to have a product that has the minimum set of features to test key assumptions. In this phase, it’s important to not waste valuable resources where they are not necessary. Work until you get a solid understanding of the problem to solve and the features needed.
Phase 3. Design
Objective: Defining and designing
So we have the solution to a problem and we need to design it. This is the phase where designers come in strong. The PM works with them to create mockups. They meet with customers and get their feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and the mockups are tested with customers.
This process is repeated until there is a well-defined product that solves key problems for customers.
Phase 4. Implementation
Objective: Construct results
The implementation phase is where developers, engineers, and the product manager shine. The product is designed by developers, understood by engineers, and kept on track by the project manager. The engineers test the look and functionality against the product the developers have created to make sure they match.
The Product Manager is involved to prioritize features, create product specs and see and use the product, to make sure it passes requirements. From there it’s passed to the project manager to make sure development runs on schedule.
Phase 5. Marketing
Objective: Define marketing goals
The PM meets with the Product Marketing team to go over features and differentiators and review massaging, and refine to make sure all claims about the product features are accurate.
Phase 6. Training
Once we have the final product, we need to tell people how to use it, internally and externally – to customers. Training material is created for internal and users. The PM would also write documentation on how to use the product features.
Phase 7. Launch (Party)
Objective: Send product to market
Once the product hits the market, development does not stop. After the launch party comes reviews, customer feedback on ways to improve the product and cycle of development starts over to solve any new problems or update features.
Customer feedback is one of the most important parts of product development; a Product Manager has to always be listening and working for the customers to advance and innovate.
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