Your new product development process must enable a feedback loop and iteration, because your product is the foundation that all revenue is built on.
The companies that nail their product development do so by prioritizing, building strategic roadmaps, taking a modern approach to systems design and focusing on user experience. You can too by following these product development tips:
- Prioritize your customers.
- Build strategic product development roadmaps.
- Create an architecture and system design that works.
- Focus on UX.
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1. Prioritize Your Customers
There are countless competing forces early in the startup company lifecycle. Baking the vision and strategy of the business into a well-formed product takes iteration, focus and patience.
One method we’ve found that helps with this prioritization is focusing on the concept of minimum viable audience in conjunction with minimum viable product. A minimum viable audience is the smallest and most niche segment of customers that can benefit from your product’s value proposition while still being large enough to sustain your company from a revenue perspective.
By taking a customer-centric approach to roadmap prioritization, as opposed to a product-out view, you’ll keep your initial product features closely aligned to the customers you’re serving, enabling quicker validation and go-to-market as part of your new product development process.
2. Build Strategic Product Development Roadmaps
Strategic planning and business plans are important pieces of your business, but being able to take your strategic insights and put them into a roadmap can be challenging. The key is quicker iteration — and iterating between pricing and packaging, high-level roadmaps and short-term roadmaps.
While revisiting these activities can be tedious, creating a culture that’s focused on the thoughtfulness of these discussions over the final deliverable is essential. And as your product development matures, you may be able to relax the frequency with which you revisit them.
3. Create an Architecture and System Design That Works
Designing products and platforms at modern-day SaaS companies isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. The best product development process considers design integrations across the company’s key systems to give all employees access to the pieces they need.
Make sure to take a modern approach to system design takes identity systems, CRMs, analytics and financial systems into account. This approach will help you empower the entire organization to take part in the product lifecycle.
4. Focus on UX
You can’t count on success after your first release, which is why you need to focus on user experience throughout your new product development process. Research, design, measure and iterate to keep heading in the right direction.
Prioritization, strategy, roadmaps, architecture and user experience are some of the main components of an effective dev organization. By following the above product development tips, understanding how these areas can affect each other, and knowing when to lean more on the different processes within these buckets, you will stay focused and aligned to your businesses growth needs.