Our approach to the product development
Product development is generic abstract, so we emphasize that our product development methods, strategies and tools demonstrated here are mainly dedicated for digitized, modern day cloud-based software products.
Product development strategies varies a lot and there are alternative approaches for implementing strategies and methods. We consider that the product development influences at all tiers of software development company, from strategy to operative implementation.
When developing a product, it is essential to listen and understand requirements among stakeholders. There are variable ways in organizing feedback loop; such as asking salesmen, consultants and customer service to collect feedback and reporting in structured form to specific ticketing system, or alternatively utilize modern day powerful customer service software, where feedback can be prioritized and filtered to the use of product development efficiently with less manual effort. When organizing feedback loop it´s good to ask questions such as:
- How accurate feedback do I need?
- How do I refine the feedback and what kind of value does it bring?
- How should I categorize feedback?
- Can same tool be utilized as a feedback and development ticketing system?
- What kind of ticketing tools should I use?
Product development is all about identifying and managing value. Part of identification is to develop mechanisms for measuring value of investment for specific features. Common questions are such as:
- What kind of value the feature brings to our existing and potential customers?
- What is expected time from planning to release? In other words, what´s the approximate cost of investment?
- What is expected time for the return of investment?
- What kind of commercial potential this feature brings to our customer base in the long run?
- Does the feature support our strategy? Does it take us towards right direction?
When explaining to stakeholders why certain features have been prioritized, it is good to understand so called “alternative cost” and have the right arguments to keep stakeholders pleased. Therefore organizing stakeholder communication is one of the key elements; real-time information about the status of development, delivered through roadmaps, is usually good way to keep internal and external stakeholders satisfied. When building roadmaps and designing communication models, its good to pay attention to the following details:
- What kind of information is expected by the stakeholders?
- Does internal stakeholders need more specific information about the increments to be released e.g for training purposes?
- How accurate information needs to be?
- What is optimal time for communicating content of the release to the stakeholders?
- Is the information given containing promises? Are you able to keep hold of the schedules and content promised, or are you creating too high expectations among stakeholders?
Release cycle indicates how rapidly software is able to evolve. Usually, in addition to time spent for developing new features, there are regression tests and other QA elements, version control tools and some domain specific and third party elements that are affecting directly into the length of the release cycle.
Nearshored.com is happy to help you in identifying tools and methods that brings value for your product development processes.
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