Product Development Process

In 2019, Canadian firms allocated $21.7 billion to in-house research and development (R&D) efforts. Services-producing industries significantly contributed to this increase, accounting for 63.5 percent of the total.

The statistics highlight how much companies are investing in research to boost growth. The process is not only helpful in addressing customer needs but also in identifying product opportunities. If product development is something you want to improve within your organization, this guide is for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • The product development process is the conception and realization of new products. .
  • There are many factors to consider before starting the process. You must first ascertain if there is a need for your new product and if mass production of your product is possible. You should also have the financial means to launch a new product. .
  • Product development involves idea generation, research, planning, prototyping, testing, development, and launch.

What is the product development process?

Product development is the conception and realization of new products or services. It combines all the steps companies need to take to launch a new offering. Product ideas can come from customer requirements, the marketplace, a workspace, or a lab.

The procedure follows a system divided into stages or steps. A company thinks of a new product idea and then plans, researches, designs, and tests it. After completing these steps, they can finally launch the product into the market.

The development process is crucial, serving as the lifeblood of all enterprises. There are two reasons for this. Successful product development offers new value for customers and ensures continued market share growth for a company.

The new product development (NPD) process gives potential customers new reasons to trade their money. Furthermore, buyers flock to it if the latest offering provides overwhelming value. This advantage can translate to increased profits.

If a company has nothing new of value to offer customers, it may struggle to compete against its rivals. It may mean the firm is becoming irrelevant in the market.

The process also ensures continued growth for a firm. If an enterprise wants to thrive, the company must grow and improve. Developing new products and services creates the opportunity for this growth.

These advantages apply whether your company manufactures physical or digital products. If your startup offers the latter, Brain Box Labs can help. We offer software development services to help companies turn their product ideas into reality. Check out some of our projects here.

Things To Consider Before Starting the Product Development Process

As a business owner, you must first consider particular prerequisites to the product development process before making any new offerings. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a need or a demand for my new product?

Does your product idea cover a real customer need? How you can address this need will define the size of your market for the product.

  • Can you manufacture this product?

Can you manufacture this product, or does a manufacturing capability already exist somewhere? If not, do you have a new way to manufacture your offering?

  • How can you deliver the product?

Will you have a store where customers can walk in and purchase the product? Do you plan to sell it online and deliver the product to your buyer's doorstep?

  • Who are your competitors?

Do you have a unique product with low direct competition? Will you have a product catering to an existing target market?

Making a new product with no competitors can be a logical strategy. However, having competitors proves there is a market for the new product you want to launch.

  • Do you have the money to launch a new offering?

Developing a product requires you to invest time and, of course, money. The process needs a certain degree of financial backing. Before starting product development, ask yourself if your business can survive until the first sale.

Remember that your access to financial resources should define how ambitious you can be in product management.

Stages of the Product Development Process

A product development strategy involves crucial steps that you need to learn to end up with a successful product.

Idea generation

Regardless of the product you want to launch, the first stage of development is idea generation or brainstorming. In this stage, the team will brainstorm ideas to help you address existing customer pain points.

When thinking of solutions, proponents must think of something new and innovative. This way, the team will have a list of solid proposals.

People involved in the conceptualization and ideation process should have a robust understanding of the company's market. They should also be aware of the problems they need to solve.

In its early stages, concept development can be as simple as saying, "What if we did this?" You can flesh out the idea in the next phase of the process, which is research.

Evaluation and research

At the initial part of this step, you will need to conduct an idea screening. You need to weed out ideas that are inappropriate or too fanciful. Then, evaluate how you can determine the viability of the best idea.

During this stage, you will also determine whether or not the new concept aligns with the company's strategic objectives. If it does not, you can try to make iterations so it can meet the same goals. However, if you cannot modify it to meet those aims, you may have to cast it aside.

After you settle on a product idea that aligns with your company's goals, you can start the research. Fortunately, you will have many options for this stage, like market research and competitor analysis.

Market research can help you understand the current customer sentiment in your industry. It also enables you to determine the feasibility of your product.

Meanwhile, competitor business analysis can help you find the features lacking in your competitors' products or services. You can incorporate the missing elements into your product to better address your customer's needs.

During this step, you can also ask customers what they think of your ideas. You can do this survey before coming up with a final product definition for your new offering.


In this step, you will establish all the variables that impact the launch of your new product. You will have to outline the new offering's finances, product roadmap, timeline, and goals.

When planning, start by incorporating two stages: one for the product development phase and another for the launch phase. The variables will differ for the two steps, so you want to plan for them.

In the first phase, expenses are linked to time spent researching, acquiring reports, and prototype development. Meanwhile, the launch phase business plan involves money you want to invest in introducing the new product.


This product development cycle phase involves the development of a sample product. This prototype serves as a mockup of what you want to mass produce.

This prototype, the minimum viable product (MVP), is a basic version of your new solution. It may still be missing certain features, but it should showcase how your product addresses your customers' pain points.

Making a prototype should demonstrate the functionality of your new product. It should also help you find features you can improve.

You may create multiple prototypes if you want to. You can also alternate between this stage and the testing stage, which is what follows after prototyping.


Before you introduce your brand-new product, you need to test it. Concept testing ensures that your solution will work as promised and address your customer needs effectively.

During this stage, you will showcase your prototypes to your target audiences. Then, you can ask for actionable user feedback so you can make improvements.

When testing the product, you want to use them in situations similar to real-world use cases. This way, you will know what features work and areas you need to fix. Sometimes, the results of the tests will require developers to return to the prototyping stage.

Product development

This stage of the product development process involves various aspects of the product's realization. These aspects include dependency planning, framework development, sprints, quality assurance, and project strand merging.

The product development team may also conduct a beta test to assess it in a real-world environment. They will need feedback from consumers and the market to improve the solution.

This stage is where you will formalize the MVP. You can show it to stakeholders if they want updates about how the product development is going.


The launch is the final stage of your new product development process. Commercialization is where you introduce your final product to the market. Getting to this stage means your audiences can finally use your finished product.

You will need effective marketing strategies to let your target market know that you have something new. You will need to develop a marketing plan to convince your audience to make a purchase.

You can use social media and even test marketing campaigns to determine effective ones. Regardless of the channel, you must communicate the value proposition of your new product.

Although this is the last step, businesses can still go back and improve their product. After the launch, buyers will undoubtedly have something to say about the new product. Listen to all customer feedback and use it to upgrade your new offering and existing products.

If you want to realize a new software product idea, Brain Box Labs can help. With our software development services, you can make digital products that address your customers' needs.

Best Practices To Improve Your Product Development Process

Product Development Process
Source: Unsplash

Knowing the stages of the product development process may not be enough to get you the solution you want. You must learn the practices below to make the process easier for your business and your development team.

Set realistic timelines

Before you set a timeline, make sure everyone involved understands the project's challenges. If you set aggressive timelines, your team may feel pressured. They might recommend product concepts that are half as good or do not address your customer's needs.

Clean up backlogs

Cleaning up backlogs is crucial in any business project. A well-refined product backlog can help you focus on your most important tasks.

Chances are your backlog contains many tasks that might never see daylight. A good habit is to split your tasks into two:

  • The work that you have committed to doing in the future
  • The work that you may do someday

If you use Trello to manage your tasks, keep them under the categories mentioned in separate lists. You can even add low-priority tasks to a different board to concentrate on the urgent ones.

Although the tasks under the "someday" list are not urgent, do not let the list become a forgotten junkyard. Go back to the list every once in a while and delete the tasks you are sure you will never get around to doing.

Be transparent

When you start to develop the product, you must be transparent. Ensure you update all team members, upper management, distributors, and customers on the project's status.

They should know which features are complete and which ones are still under development. They should see if you meet deadlines or need to push back the launch date.

You can use information radiators or project management solutions. Doing so can make it easier for project management leads to inform everyone of the status of a project.

Limit works-in-progress

Keep in mind that multitasking can affect the efficiency of your team. It slows down the completion of individual tasks.

When overloading a system, do not be surprised if the total output goes down. When people have too much work, their throughput slows, and the number of issues in their output increases.

To prevent multitasking, make sure you have fewer tasks in progress. Limit works-in-progress, so it matches your team's workflow.

Launch the best version of your product

Some entrepreneurs struggle with the idea of delaying a product launch. If you are one of them, remember that delaying a launch is better than introducing an inferior product.

Do not be afraid to push back or even cancel a launch date. Rushing to launch is sometimes needed to secure your product's rightful place in the market. However, an ineffective product may alienate your customers, prompting them to turn to competitors.

Pro Tip

Improving your product development process doesn't have to be a massive operation if you start with small, incremental improvements. Roadmaps to guide the product's progress can help create efficient working schedules.

Have a Project Idea in Mind? Learn How Brain Box Labs Can Help

Product development can be challenging, but it can bring unmatched value to your company. It can help keep existing customers interested in your brand and encourage the audience to become buyers.

By following best practices, you can end up with a successful product that can be valuable to your firm. Do not hesitate to push back the deadline if it will let you launch the best version of your new offering.

If you have a digital product idea in mind, contact Brain Box Labs today. With our help, you will have a solution that addresses the unique needs of your target customers.

Product development aims to bring an original product idea to market. For any project you have, you will need the right set of professionals who can make it happen. Check us out at Brain Box Labs and learn how we can turn your ideas into reality!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some standard product development process models:

  • The Scorecard-Markov model - This is a mathematical methodology designed as a scorecard for new product ideas. Metrics include customer needs, marketing strength, and the company's competency.
  • The IDEO Process - This product design process is a human-centred model, with developers designing the product from the user's perspective.
  • The Stage-Gate model - This project management model divides the process of developing products into a funnel system.

The traditional process involves five steps: conception, research, analysis, development, and launch. Meanwhile, new methods involve more steps like prototyping and planning.

The product life cycle is the time from when a new product is first introduced to consumers until the company withdraws it from the market.