31 Jan Product Development Life Cycle
There are a large number of firms offering software product engineering services, today. This is because the demand for digital products is increasing. Everyone wants to make profits by launching their digital ideas in the market.
Businesses create a product to ensure value for their users as well as for the creators. Users get the benefit of finding a solution to their existing problem and creators make income through its distribution. To bring an idea to life, stakeholders seek digital product engineering services and expect a skilled team to work on their projects. The product undergoes a product development life cycle (PDLC), which generally looks like this:
- Discover a solution to resolve (Market Research)
- Define your product goals (Defining features to create a Minimum Viable Product)
- Design the product (Create a wireframe, prototype)
- Test the product (Check for user expectations and feedback)
- Implement changes and create the final product
Let’s talk about the development approaches we offer:
In the waterfall methodology, product development takes place in sequential order. So, the project development team completes one phase of Development and Testing before proceeding to the next. Completion of one development phase acts as an input for the next.
This systematic approach is a good fit for businesses that have well-defined requirements. The requirements can’t be modified later and hence demand complete clarity at the start of a project. There are different phases in the waterfall model:
Requirements / Analysis
This is the first phase of the waterfall model in which the purpose of the product is defined. Accordingly, the requirements are set, and product specifications are mentioned and documented.
Once the requirement is clear, the team performs a thorough study to prepare a system design. The system design specifies the hardware and technological needs of the project.
Implementation / Coding
Software is now split into small units to start coding. Then these units are integrated to create a complete product.
The product undergoes several testing phases to ensure error-free execution. Also, the team takes note of all the requirements they can meet.
After confirming an error-free code, the product is deployed in the customer environment or released into the user market.
The team makes a few modifications to the product to improve performance. These changes are only done on the client’s request or to rectify errors that were not fixed during testing. The team also shares a regular maintenance report with the client.
In Agile methodology, the development phases are the same as in the waterfall model, but there are continuous iterations between the development and testing phases. Unlike the waterfall model, we can go back to previous development stages to modify or change product attributes depending on the client’s requirement/changing requirements.
Agile methodology also demands more communication between the project stakeholders and the project development teamso that changing requirements, development feedback, etc. are clearly understood. Due to concurrent client interactions, agile development teams stay more focused and motivated. Hence, this approach results in better project quality. Moreover, with consistent feedback from stakeholders, the chances of project failure also reduce.
Product Development Models Based on Costing
Fixed Price Model
A fixed price model is based on specified project requirements. These requirements are documented along with the scope of work it would demand. A time and resource estimate are defined at the beginning of product development. This model involves scope-related risks. Any additional requirement undergoes an additional agreement as the client needs to pay extra for it. This model is a good fit when:
- Product requirements are clear
- You are creating a minimum viable product
- You only need limited features in the product
- You have a budget and a clear timeframe
Time and Material Model / Retainer Model
A retainer model is a good fit when you have a product idea but lack the skillset and plan to bring it to life. We can turn your idea into a usable product by evaluating its scope, checking the feasibility, and providing the right assets to develop it.
Since the product requirements are unclear, the development process will demand flexibility. Several changes are expected during the development cycle, implying that the approach is suited for long-term projects. A retainer model is suited for projects with:
- Ambiguous project scope
- Dynamic requirements
- Requirement for flexibility
- Long-term projects
Depending on the clarity of product requirements, you can choose either of the cost-based product development models.
Product Development Solutions as Per Component Stages of Product
Depending on the product component stage, you may be looking for product development or product engineering solutions. Here are the different possibilities where you can seek our services:
- If you have a product idea, we can help you with complete product development.
- We also offer product engineering solutions to build a minimum viable product (MVP).
- If you have your MVP ready, we can help you find your product market fit (PMF).
- Our team can help you scale up your PMF to a broader range of users.
- We can also help you scale globally.
Depending on the component stage of your product, the skill requirement can vary. Our team is equipped with the right tools, the latest technology, and the skillset to sail you through the product development life cycle. We can customize our services to best suit your demand.
Here’s the product development life cycle we follow at Nickelfox:
Understand Your Business Process, Vision & Expectations
Before we start ideating, we build a firm understanding of your business. The key stakeholders can help us map out their expectations with the product. This way it gets easier to create something that upholds your brand value.
Once we are clear on the expectations, a team of experienced enthusiasts builds strategies.
Market Dynamics Research
Understanding the market dynamics helps in defining product goals by building knowledge on:
- Do users expect digital solution/product like yours in the market?
- Are there any products for you to compete with?
- How can we make your product better?
- What elements can shift user preference to your solution or simplify resolving their problem?
– Test Your Business Idea
With specific product goals in mind, we create a minimum viable product (MVP) to test your business idea and create a proof of concept (POC)
We conduct extensive testing of your business idea on various grounds and also create a POC if required. Idea testing helps us validate the elements that are involved during the execution of the product strategy.
-Create a High-Level Product Strategy
We believe in creating strategies that are in sync with the client’s plan. Questions like:
- What do our clients want to accomplish with their product?
- Who is their target audience?
- And what is their vision behind the entire product development cycle?
Answers to these questions are important for us to understand and build the fundamental knowledge around the project. Correct knowledge transfer helps to create a high-level product strategy with which the team can proactively take up the tasks.
– Stay on top of technological trends
To best fit the current market demand, products must follow the latest tech trends. Our team understands the significance of staying technologically updated and ensures to deliver top-notch solutions following technological trends.
With the right product strategy, you can develop impactful products that add value to the life of users. However, we operate in a competitive market today, where sustaining a product can seem challenging. When multiple brands promise identical solutions, how do you stay relevant to users?
Sustaining a product in the diverse and constantly changing market that we have today is only possible through:
- Aligning with the brand vision and changing behavior of users
- Staying at the top of tech trends
A digital product undergoes development iterations to stay aligned with business and consumer requirements. As an agile company, we recommend agile development for successful products but we can assist you with development solutions that uniquely fit your project requirements.