Product development company
A product development company has a combination of product management, project management, technical and design expertise. Each team member of the company has to understand the product’s vision, distinctive competence and know the competitor’s products. Furthermore, they should participate in the product definition and prioritisation activities. Product development is a series of steps that includes the conceptualisation, design, development and marketing of newly created or newly rebranded products or services.
These are the seven main stages of product development:
1. Idea generation
The ultimate goal of this stage is to generate ideas for new products or services or improvements to existing ones.
It’s good to examine the market for which you’re developing the product. Check to see whether there are areas where no useful products exist. Also think in terms of solving problems, not making a profit. If you solve someone’s problem, they’ll gladly pay you for it. The two types of problems that need your attention are alleviating pain or providing pleasure.
Also, you can ask employees, especially those who deal with customers regularly, for product ideas, or survey customers for feedback on existing products.
2. Idea evaluation
During this process, you should take out useless and unwanted ideas. To do this, you should discuss the pros and cons of each idea. Think about their potential to generate revenue and the time and resources that are available for creating the products.
3. Concept development
The internal, objective analysis of step two is replaced by customer opinion in this stage.
The most important question is: does the concept have strong consumer appeal? For some concept tests, a word or picture description might be enough. However, to increase the reliability of the test, a more concrete and physical presentation of the product concept may be needed.
4. Market strategy creation
This part identifies the strategy of how to market and sell your product or service. The marketing strategy statement consists of three parts:
- A description of the target market, the value of the product, and profit goals for the first few years
- An outline of the product’s proposed price, distribution and marketing budget for the first year
- The planned long-term sales, profit goals and the marketing mix strategy
5. Product development
This stage consists of turning the concept into a workable prototype. Developing a successful prototype, however, can take days, weeks, months or even years, depending on the product and prototype methods.
In many cases, marketers involve actual customers in product testing. Consumers can evaluate prototypes and work with pre-release products. Their experiences may be very useful in the product development stage.
6. Market testing
In this stage, the product and its proposed marketing programme are tested in realistic market settings. It allows the company to verify the product and its entire marketing programme, including targeting, positioning strategy, and advertising before fully implementing the marketing strategy..
Test marketing phases have given the information needed to make the final decision: launch or do not launch the new product. The final stage in the new product development process is commercialisation.
However, the company should consider some factors before the product is commercialised:
- introduction timing – When to launch the new product? For example, if competitors are ready to introduce their products, the company should push to introduce the new product as soon as possible
- introduction place – Where to launch the new product? Should it be launched in a single location, a region, the national market, or the international market?
The launch isn’t the end of the marketing process for the product. After launching marketers have real market data about how the product performs outside the test environment. This market data initiates a new cycle of idea generation for improvements and adjustments.
Software development company
Software development companies are making customer-specific software. This software needs to solve the demands of the customer within the agreed time, budget and quality. Usually, the software company controls all the development process, and the client’s management team monitors the development process.
The company’s engineering team is usually led by an engineering manager who is responsible for the development and a project manager who is responsible for scheduling tasks, managing priorities, and negotiating the requirements with the client.
Software development life cycle (SDLC) is a process used by the software industry to develop and design quality software. Usually, the stages of SDLC are these:
1. Requirements gathering
In this stage of SDLC, the team defines the requirements of the new software and determines the time, cost and resources required. A Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document is created during this phase. This document includes everything which should be designed and developed during the project life cycle.
Once the requirements are understood, software architects and developers can begin to design the software. Based on the requirements specified in SRS, usually, more than one design is proposed and documented in a DDS – Design Document Specification.
This DDS is reviewed and based on various parameters as risk assessment, design modularity, budget and time constraints, the best design is selected for the product.
3. Implementation and coding
When the design is ready, the next step is coding. In this phase, developers start building the entire system by writing code. Development teams should produce working software as quickly as possible. Business stakeholders should be engaged regularly, to ensure that their expectations are fulfilled. The output of this phase is testable, functional software.
When the software is complete, and it is deployed in the testing environment the testing team starts testing the functionality of the entire system.
During this phase, the QA team may find some bugs. The development team fixes the bugs and the QA engineer does another iteration of testing. This process continues until the software is relatively bug-free, stable, and working.
Once the software testing phase is over, and no bugs or errors are left in the system, the final deployment process starts. The first step is user acceptance testing (UAT). User acceptance testing is when a replica of the production environment is created and the customer along with the developers are testing. Based on the results of the UAT and the feedback given by the project manager, the final software is released and checked for deployment issues if any.
Software maintenance is done for future reference. Software improvements and new requirements can take longer than the time needed to create the initial development of the software. Software maintenance includes:
- Bug fixing – bugs are reported because of some scenarios and edge cases which are not tested at all
- Upgrades – upgrading the application to newer versions of the software, used APIs and libraries
- Enhancements – adding some new features into the existing software