What is product development?

Product development is the development of a new technology solution or the evolution of an existing technology solution that offers new or additional benefits and value to new or existing customers.

Often these products are a core strategic, competitive and money generating element for the business and it is thus critical to ensure the product is sustainable or can be successfully evolved with the business overtime.

Technical product development strategy

Just as we need a business strategy and vision, when it comes to product development, we also need a strategy and vision for the technical solution and architecture of the product. The technical soundness of a product is important to sustain the business into the future. You can decide if you use us to define the strategy for you or if we review the strategy defined by your team or work jointly on defining it. What is also important is setting up metrics to monitor the implementation of such a strategy. This is hardly ever implemented in any businesses we work with. We want to evaluate our return on investment.

When embarking on product development there are a few key factors need to be considered or questions answered. We will unpack this with you.

If you are starting a new product, it is important to choose the right tech stack. We often work with entrepreneurs where a huge investment has been made into writing a close to complete MVP, but the technology selected is really not ideal (for many reasons).

Stages of product development

There are various stages involved within our product development framework. The focus is on business model definition, marketing, sales as well as implementation of the product.

The following stages covering product idea and strategy, customer requirements, technical development, go-live, product launch and rollout forms part of the Infoware Studios product development service.

banner--4 (1)

Idea generation

This is where you have an idea for a product but you still need to position the product in the market and determine if it is a viable idea to invest in. Here we want to flesh out the business model a bit as well as define the starting point for the Idea validation stage.

Idea validation

During this stage we engage with targeted customers to tweak and finalise our product idea. We ask critical questions in order to make changes to the idea so we can align our product vision with what is important to our customers.

Technical Strategy

It is important to craft a technical strategy for designing the product to ensure it will evolve as the business evolves and that it can be sustained over time. See Technical product development strategy for more details.

Analysis

We focus on the technical design as well as the business requirement definition of the product once the idea and strategy has been finalised.

Under this we cover 2 aspects:

  1. Technical solution design: we design the solution taking aspects into account that is important to the customer at that point referring to architecture, technology stack, security and infrastructure.
  2. Business requirement definition: we engage with your customers or yourself to write user stories and generate your product backlog.
  3. Technical due diligence: we review the current state of your code base and advice on the way forward.

Development

This focuses on the implementation of the product. We can setup and manage your infrastructure, take care of development, user requirement definition, security, testing, user manuals and training and project management.

Go-to-market Strategy

We also assist with defining a go-to-market strategy for you in conjunction with our technical marketing and sales team. Here we focus on the marketing aspects of the product: how we launch, what we communicate, how we communicate and where we communicate. Let’s make your product visible.

Rollout

If you have an existing customer base to which you rollout the product, we need to understand how we going to go about doing that.

Support and Maintenance

We can support the product once it has been released. We do this under agreed SLA’s.

As a product needs to be evolved continuously to ensure that the investment made in the product is realised over time the following is important to consider for support and maintenance of a product:

  • Regular upgrades on technology stack
  • Upgrades on infrastructure
  • Bug fixes post release
  • Automation of testing on user interface

Our support and maintenance is offered under service level agreements (SLA’s) agreed with the client.

Our support and maintenance offering also derisks clients to ensure that IP is not completely lost as we have a continuous skills transfer plan for all products we support across a team within Infoware Studios.

Our approach

As a customer you can choose which of the Stages of product development you would be interested in working with us. We support all our product development customers post the first go-live and thus have experience in all the pitfalls of releasing a new product to market.

The following approaches could be considered:

  • Infoware Studios team can either do the work outlined within Stages of product development.
  • Infoware Studios play an advisory role and your team end-up doing the work.
  • We combine teams, so Infoware Studios and the customer’s team work together on each item.