Steps for product development

Steps for product development

“Steps for product development” by Armando Vilas-Boas

The process of product development translates into a series of steps that include the conceptualization, design, development, and marketing of newly created or newly rebranded goods or services. Product development may involve modification of an existing product or its presentation, or formulation of an entirely new product that satisfies a newly defined customer want or market niche.

A key enabler of growth is efficiently bringing new products and services to market while effectively managing the lifecycle of existing offers. Successful companies optimize research and product development in order to maximize innovation, value, and quality, while minimizing cost, time, and risk.

Although the product development process is creative, it is important to have a systematic approach to structure the development and guide the processes to put a new product on the market.

There is a common framework in the design process, regardless of the industry or field of work, created by the UK Design Council, known as “Diamond Model”, in which any product development process goes through a sequence of four phases:
— discover;
— define;
— develop;
— distribute.

In this model are represented the processes of divergence and convergence that are associated with the process’s key moments. The discovery and development phases correspond to divergent processes while defining and delivering are convergent.

There are several approaches that were developed to guide and manage the processes like the Fuzzy Front End (FFE), Stage-Gate, Design Thinking, Quality Function Deployment, Design for Six Sigma or the Lean Product Development. Many times, companies mix models and combine two or more different approaches.
But one must bear in mind that determining the user needs is crucial. If the end-users don’t have a need for the product, even the greatest product will not make it.

Armando Vilas-Boas  – MA Design Course Leader

London School of Design and Marketing

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