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May 23, 2024

Developing Disruptive Products to increase Business Performance

At a time when customer expectations are becoming more demanding and cyber-attacks more sophisticated, organizations and R&D departments are facing a major challenge.

There is a demand to drive innovative products and services, as well as digital models that compete in new markets. However, these teams are often hampered by aspects such as limited internal focus, rigidly sequenced processes, divisions of responsibility between functions, etc. We analyze these processes and give you the keys on how to achieve disruptive digital products that have a real impact on your business.  

New product development process

Some product development teams are changing how they work as part of wider digital transformations in their companies, but this process can take time. Because competition does not wait, companies need innovation accelerators, such as a wide variety of technologies and methods.

One such technology that can help in the digital product development process is digital twins. They help companies understand product data throughout the product lifecycle, bringing product performance closer in a sophisticated way.  

Thanks to this technology, companies can use this data to guide the development of new products, as well as software updates that correct flaws in existing products or add functionality to them. From here, potential applications can be developed that go much further, such as equipment monitoring with IoT devices, smart applications, real-time problem detection, equipment maintenance, etc.

With all the advantages it brings, new product development is a complex process that requires a large investment of time and resources. Therefore, maximizing the speed of the development process without sacrificing quality is the key to project management. A big challenge? Yes, but not impossible.

The key to accelerating the product development process lies in finding the right balance between speed and quality, and managing the development process properly, which will result in faster product deployment, greater competitive advantage, and increased ROI.  

Steps in the development of new products

The typical product development process consists of several key steps from conceptualization to market launch. The number of steps involved in this process depends on the type of product, but the most common ones are:

  1. Discovery: all the detailed information about the product to be developed is gathered, specifying requirements, documenting criteria, establishing priorities, defining objectives, assigning roles, etc. This phase also includes 4 main concepts: 
    1. Build the architecture according to specific business objectives.
    2. Map the development process against schedule and budget.
    3. Identify and mitigate potential risks and dependencies.
    4. Define acceptance criteria and final product characteristics. 
  1. Idea validation: demonstrates its feasibility, which helps to refine the concept and align it with market demands and trends. This can focus on competitor research, a prototype, a PoC or a visual demonstration. Shaping the idea based on data increases the likelihood of creating a solution that adds value to the business and builds end-user loyalty.
  2. Prototyping: this could be included in the previous stage, but focused on building an MVP, representing the simplified version of the final product. It is a great starting point for presenting the product to the audience, gathering feedback, testing acceptance, and verifying usability.
  3. Product development: the team breaks the project into modules and converts the product requirements into code.
  4. Testing: before releasing the product for implementation in the production environment, it is essential to have done validation testing. This will confirm the proper functionality of the product and its alignment with the intended purpose. This is very important to achieve a satisfactory user experience and to detect and address potential security issues. Performance testing, functional testing, security testing, unit testing, usability testing, acceptance testing, etc. should be done… 
  5. Launch: when we have reached the point we want our product to be, we are ready to launch it into the market. Careful planning is essential, especially when launching on multiple platforms. Marketing strategy, feedback gathering, and performance evaluation should also be considered to keep improving according to user needs.
  6. Maintenance: The product launch is not the end of the line. The product will move into a maintenance phase where any necessary modifications required after implementation can be incorporated. 

New product development strategy

According to Siemens data, a good strategy to accelerate product development eliminates silos of resources, bringing together systems, people and data:  

  • Data accuracy is improved by up to 95% with a common source of requirements, objectives, and problems from concept through to product validation and production.
  • Choosing the best design in advance, using data to automatically evaluate thousands of configurations, and reducing time spent on analysis reduces time by 80%.
  • Design changes can be simulated across all disciplines before implementation to ensure software and hardware are in sync helps cut development time in half.

To reach this point, it is not advisable to take shortcuts that are detrimental to quality, so there are some strategies that help accelerate development while ensuring user satisfaction: 

  1. The discovery phase should not be neglected: one of the most common problems when starting a project is the urgency of customers to move to the development stage as quickly as possible. The problem is that this mentality will cause us to run into problems at every sprint, making faster development impossible. Spending the necessary time on discovery will help spot potential roadblocks early on, ensuring better results and time savings.
  2. Put quality before speed: if we compromise on quality, sooner or later we will have to do massive rework and waste a lot of time. There is a tendency to make mistakes, forget details or ignore simple problems under the pressure of tight deadlines. So you have to strike a balance and not put pressure on the team with time issues alone.
  3. Automate as much as possible: automation helps in optimising monotonous work, thus improving the efficiency of the team. From workflow management to testing to the most tedious tasks, it frees up a lot of time for more innovative and creative initiatives. 
  4. Bet on the team: one of the tips is to choose a team that is present throughout the process. The more they work on a particular project, the more they will learn about it and the speed of delivery will increase as they go through the phases. This will also help to expand the team, as when new expertise is added, existing developers will gain more knowledge.
  5. Measure progress and make adjustments: As the development phase approaches, estimates will be made for each new sprint and performance will be measured at the end of each sprint. Managers can then set up an agile product development process, and see how quickly the team is delivering results. It is a useful way to define the optimal load that the team can handle, and successfully complete tasks in sufficient time.
  6. Reuse what works: do not start from scratch every time a product is to be developed. If possible, it is recommended to start the development process with an example of an existing successful product. Teams can use this as the basis for a completely new solution that produces even better results, as the goal will always be to create a product that stands out and differentiates itself from the competition.  

Accelerate your product development in an efficient way

The product development process is a labor-intensive process that involves strategic planning, efficient collaboration, and precise execution. By planning ahead, leveraging automation, and prioritizing quality over speed, workflows can be significantly accelerated without compromising the quality of the solution.

At Plain Concepts we care about understanding our customers and helping them find the right solutions for their real needs. We apply a “Digital Product” approach, where there are very fast development cycles and feedback is incorporated at the same speed.

We rely on Lean Product Process, DevOps culture, and Lean UX, together with the use of agile methodologies and autonomous teams, which allows us to innovate in short periods of time.

In most cases, it is ideal to collaborate in the early stages of ideation to select and generate the best solutions according to our experience in technology, so we will be your best ally from the first moment. 

We will ensure the success of digital products, based on 2 main pillars: 

  • Design and UX: achieving an attractive, user-friendly, and understandable design is crucial. A poorly designed product has a negative impact on the work done and frustrates users. Our UX/UI team will allow you to reduce costs, increase the productivity and usability of your projects, and avoid changes during the development process.
  • Quality engineering: your software products must meet the highest standards of quality and reliability. With our context-based testing methodologies and tools, we can help you solve any problems early in the development process, reducing the risk of costly defects and delays 

In addition, if you want to go a step further, we also create innovative applications using disruptive technologies, making use of 3D graphics in business applications or generating new Extended Reality experiences.

Don’t wait any longer and start developing quality digital products in much less time! 

Elena Canorea
Elena Canorea
Communications Lead