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Product development life cycle: this is what you need to know

Software Engineering

6 minutes read

Product software development is one of the main keys to success in the modern world. Product companies can hardly compete in the market without proper software. That is why custom software development is such a popular choice. To understand product software development better, it is necessary to consider each stage of the product development and product life cycle.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE

What is a product development lifecycle?

To begin with, product development is the process of transforming an idea into a ready software product. Why do we need to develop software products? Each product aims to solve specific problems and covers the needs of the target audience.

Like any process, product development has its lifecycle as well. You can not avoid one of the stages, as each has an important purpose. Avoiding one of them can lead to many faults such as poor quality, not meeting the initial requirements, failure in the market, or target audience rejection. That is why you have to follow each stage as a vital part of the development.

Phases of product development life cycl

The whole life cycle has seven stages.

Stage 1. Idea

That is the very beginning of the product life cycle and one of the most important as you grounding the future product. If you are wondering what the criteria of a good idea are, we can select some of them:

  • solving pain points of your target audience;
  • practical in use and easy to explain what is it, so the consumer does not need to have specific skills to use it;
  • the idea product has prospects to expand.

Stage 2. Idea validation

Idea validation has to be done most accurately as it directly impacts all the further stages of the product’s development lifecycle and product life cycle itself. Proper validation reduces all the risks, so it is essential before investing any funds in the product development as there is a risk of wasting the funds.

Stage 3. Design 

During the design stage, you have to care about such aspects of the product: user interface, platform, security, and architecture.

Stage 4. Create a prototype

Prototyping allows you to see what the finished product will be. The prototype can be in different shapes, from the prototype with a specific feature. Also, it can be a prototype of ready-to-use software. Commonly, there are a few variants of the prototypes with different features to test the product and implement some changes where needed. 

Stage 5. Coding and testing

The process of developing the product itself. Coding takes the most of the time, and after that, the necessary step is testing the product. You have to test the product to fix all the possible bugs and issues before the product deployment to release it as polished as possible.

Stage 6. Product deployment

Product release to the public.

Stage 7. Support

Even if the product is ideally developed and tested, there is still reason to support it after the release. Minor fixes and updates are still needed, as unpredictable issues can emerge. Also, support works on fixing issues and helping customers with their questions and problems.

Software product lifecycle

After finishing the product development and deploying to the market, it is time to talk about the product life cycle. We can divide this life into a few important stages as the previous one.

     1. Introductory

Advertising is a vital part of the product life cycle. According to Statista. spending worldwide amounted to 378.16 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. The marketing team cares about making it appealing to the customer at the market. The primary goals of marketing are:

  • Creating a picture of potential customers. Here the market team needs to create an accurate picture of the client with all the details of the client’s pain and other tiny details as possible to have the picture of the person who will use the product.
  • Researching the market. Competitors analysis is no less important than the previous step, where you have to create a potential customer picture. Researching the market gives a clear vision of what your competitors are doing now, their weak and strong sides, what is popular and what is not, etc. All that info as a whole picture allows you to understand what your product needs to reach success. 
  • Messaging and Creating a go-to-market strategy. 

Create a message that reflects the spirit of the product and a team to be ready to go to market. Here is time to choose the audience, marketplaces, and goals to achieve.

  • Launching.

     2. Growth

After launching the advertising and the sales start growing, that is a sign you are in a growth stage. Here you have first customers, the flow of sales, and accordingly, you have a boost in profit. This stage requires you:

  • keeping a stable work to meet all the clients’ expectations
  • investing in marketing and expanding your product
  • improving the product.

     3. Maturity

The maturity stage is the time of stability. After reaching the peak of sales and growth, all the processes stabilize. Now your goal is to keep your position in the market. All you need to do here is:

  • researching and updating your product to the new trends and requirements of the market;
  • improving your product to compete with your main competitors;
  • сreating a unique experience for your clients to keep them with you.

     4. Decline

Every life cycle ends with a decline. During the decline stage, your product faces a strong competition challenge, so you drop the price to keep the loyal customers. To conquer decline there is an option to: 

  • develop another product with all the new requirements that fresh competitors have to make competitor able products at the market
  • change the audience.

     5. Afterlife

Product afterlife has a few options:

  • gradual death of the product;
  • complete transformation according to the new market demands;
  • a creation of a new product being inspired by the old one.

What is the best approach to the software development 

Talking about product development, you have to choose the right approach to development. The best decision is an end-to-end software development approach. You will get the most combined in terms of prince and quality approach and quality product. Cooperating with a single team that covers all the development needs from the start to the end is the main benefit of an end-to-end development approach. Unlike working with the freelancers, a single team reduces such issues:

  • incompetent specialists;
  • long development process;
  • communication barriers;
  • high price.

Conclusion

In the result, we have the description of the whole product life cycle with each stage. We can observe the importance of each of them and what impact each of them has. You can not avoid at least one of them because, in that case, you will not have a decent product to release to the public. 

References:

statista.com

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