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Methodologies To Use For The New Product Development Process

Mervyn Graham
July 9, 2018

With the market constantly evolving, there’ll always be opportunities for new product development.

Developing a new digital product isn’t the simplest task, businesses can easily get it wrong and products often fall into the cracks. To ensure you develop superior products, you need structured methodologies. However, businesses need to be more agile in their methodologies because of constantly changing cloud technology and client needs and the need to stay innovative and at the forefront is bigger than ever. Here are some of the methodologies that make the software product development process easier:

Customer Development Process

Customer Development is a four-step framework created by entrepreneur and business school Professor Steve Blank. The framework focuses on these four actions:

  • Discover and validate the appropriate market for your idea
  • Build the correct product features that solve your client’s needs
  • Test the right model and strategies for generating and converting customers
  • Deploy the right organisation and resources to scale the business.

The whole idea is to avoid investing all of your money based on pure assumptions. Instead, business owners should start using a business model canvas where all the relevant assumptions are listed. These assumptions are then validated step-by-step and turned into facts or pivots. The idea is to then reduce uncertainty and essentially invest more when you know more and be open for any changes as you move along the process.

Goal-Directed Interaction Design

How do you ensure that what you build is going to have the right user engagement? Software designer and programmer Alan Cooper introduced this process to make software more user friendly. Goal directed design is a process that involves understanding the personas, the users, as well as the domain. It places the goals of the user at the centre of the design process. When using this methodology, figure out how you can get your digital product feature roadmap, what the important features are, and how do you ensure you get a good product. It’s also important to remember to design first and build second – that’s how you ensure you get more user-friendly software built around customer experience.

The Bullseye Framework

How do you make sure you are going to get traction with your product? With so many channels out there, there are probably only a few that are suitable for your business or product. It’s really important to find a good distribution channel that works for you. This is called the ‘Bullseye Framework’. The first step is brainstorming every possible channel. Where is your ideal audience? What’s the best way to advertise offline? Visualise the possibilities in each channel and try to figure out which strategies will work. The second step is carrying out traction tests in the most promising channels to see if the idea is really good or not. The final step is to determine which is your core channel and directing all your efforts and resources towards it.

Agile software development

Agile software development gives your development process the flexibility it needs by allowing changes in later development stages. The agile methodology involves everyone within the business, and it is organised around sprints, which are generally around one to three weeks long (with a specific set of goals that need to be completed).

By bringing design, business and technology together, you’ll be able to create feasible, scalable solutions that engages users and meets your business requirements. To ensure you’re on the right track, ask yourself these three questions: Is this business viable? Is the technology feasible? Do you have proper user engagement?  

As a product owner, you have to be on the lookout for new and innovative methodologies if you want to stay ahead of trends. By focusing on creating superior customer value, your new product development process is more likely to be successful. If you want to know more about creating digital products for your business, contact us for a free consultation.