Product Development Overview
Product development is generally termed as working closely with customers to develop new product solutions and manufacturing processes to solve critical customer problems. Product development engineers use a combination of complex electrical and mechanical modelling software, comprehensive analytical labs, and process development labs to develop and test new concepts. Product development team comprises of great product and process innovators, and also experts in manufacturing who are all responsible for getting product from labs to production, ensuring a smooth transition and reliable production solution.
Product Development Methods
- New-to-the-world products or really-new products: These products are inventions that create a whole new market.
- New-to-the-firm products or new product lines: Products that take a firm into a category new to it. The products are not new to the world, but are new to the firm.
- Additions to existing product lines: These are “Flanker” brands, or line extensions, designed to flesh out the product line as offered to the firm’s current markets.
- Improvements and revisions to existing products: Current products made better.
- Repositioning: Products that are retargeted for a new use or application.
- Cost reductions: New products that simply replace existing products in the line, providing the customer similar performance but at a lower cost.
Key Performance Indicators of Product Development
KPI’s are important, but determining the success of your product goes well beyond that. Here are some metrics you can emphasis on.
Churn isn’t just a metric for your Sales or Success team. At the end of the day, it all links back to the usability, performance, and how easy it is to use your product.
Retention Why are your customers exiting? Is there a competitor that’s offering diverse functionality? Is it lack of integrations? Once you figure out the ‘why’, it’s time to figure out the ‘how’ – how to retain them.
Usage is a complicated one, and will most certainly differ on your applications and the nature of it. Is your product intended to be used on a daily or weekly basis? Are you considering raising the use of it with large teams, or is it a tool that is meant to decrease the amount of time and work other tools simply doesn’t offer? Identify your users and learn from them.