In product development, the core focus is often on the product itself — and the process of developing the product comes second.
Companies must strike a careful balance between a product’s quality and how long it takes to develop. Move too quickly, and the quality might be compromised; move too slowly, and the consumer interest or demand could wane.
Nine tips to better product development
Here are some tried-and-true tips to reduce time-to-market while ensuring high-quality development:
1. Implement a Well-Defined Product Development Strategy
Identify your market and make sure you understand your audience. Some key questions to ask include:
- What are the needs of your target audience?
- What are the benefits of the new product?
- Will the product fit into the current market?
Then, create a roadmap detailing all the steps you will take, from product iteration to testing to launch. Your strategy should identify a clear timeframe.
2. Create Wireframes
Low-fidelity wireframes act as a rough foundation of the product, providing designers with an idea of what features, functionalities, and designs to include.
3. Determine Product Specification Requirements
Product specification includes pricing, design features and functionalities, marketing specifications, and more. Multiple teams will rely on this documentation, so make sure it is clear.
4. Hire a Development Team
In order to quickly launch a high-caliber product, you need to find the right expertise. Hiring in-house is an option, but outsourcing is often more cost-effective.
5. Use the Agile Methodology
Harvard Business Review Analytic Services deemed agile software development “the competitive advantage for a digital age.”
Agile — based on iterative and incremental development — enables organizations to respond to market changes faster, deliver higher-quality software, and obtain a substantial competitive advantage.
The Agile method supports the creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP); at each stage of the product, more features can be tested and added.
6. Do Periodic Automated Testing
To ensure development cycles go smoothly, conduct software testing at regular intervals and whenever a new source code is added or modified. Automated testing will save you a lot of time while providing better insight into the product, so consider using a test automation tool.
7. Choose Your Technology Stack Wisely
Make sure you’re aware of the latest industry trends. Here are some questions to keep in mind:
- What is the technology adoption lifecycle?
- Is the technology open source?
- What are the technology’s long-term expenses?
- Can the product be ported to other platforms?
8. Maintain Proper Documentation
Documentation keeps everyone involved in the project — designers, developers, testers, project managers, etc. — on the same page. Having clear and concise documentation helps speed up the development process by guiding developers and preventing disagreements.
Different types of documentation include:
- Design – details what the end-product will look like
- Technical- describes the software’s architecture and functionality
- User- helps users understand how the code works
- Marketing- explains what the ROI should be
9. Clean Up the Code
Removing unused code helps prevent bugs and reduce time spent on code maintenance.
Getting Your Product to Market
In addition to building a top-tier product, companies should focus on reducing time-to-market. Following the tips listed above will help you to avoid product delays, which can have a detrimental impact on your market position and ROI.
If you’re looking to accelerate product development, Digital Natives is waiting to hear from you. Check us out on Clutch, the Inc. 500-ranked platform that connects global service providers with buyers. Be sure to peruse Clutch’s sister sites as well: The Manifest, a business learning tool, and Visual Objects, a digital portfolio site that can help you find a solution. We look forward to working on your digital product development project!