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The most important objective of product development is to satisfy a customer’s need. All other things come after because you cannot make profit from a product that no one wants to use. Also, everybody has an idea of how to solve a certain problem or how to satisfy a certain need for people but only a few have the capabilities of bringing that idea into life. Product teams being some of those few people.

There are certain external factors that are crucial in the development process that should be considered. The three external factors that make a huge difference and are easily missed until a later stage:

Disregarding feedback

Creating a product in isolation and not attaining or disregarding any feedback from the intended users. The product might end up being something that nobody actually wants to use.

To correct that, you need to collect feedback as much as possible while in the creation process from the external sources, not only internally.

That should not end at the collection process, the feedback should be the one that also guides the development of the product even when it’s different from what you initially thought the product should be like.

The formation of your idea should be given enough time that allows for useful feedback gathering. Testing of the product by the user should be done and gather user feedback. The process should be repeated over and over again.

Rejecting External Solutions

Only searching, accepting and implementing solutions that were developed internally. When it is believed skills that can make a difference in the development of a product are expertise that the team members as a collective or that of a colleague posses.

Other alternative ideas are not evaluated in the same manner as those made internally, leading to poor decision making.

Failure to distinguish between the user and customer

The customer being the one who buys the produce with the aim to address a business requirement. The user being the one who actually has to sit down and use the product regularly.

The product teams are mostly exposed to the customers and they are the ones who often try to best represent the needs of the users but that is not enough, because it is critical that the creators of the product have a clear understanding of the people who will use the product. The user profiling technique can be useful in addressing the issue at early stages.

The development of a product is not one to be done in a vacuum, with the aim to be a perfect product and disregarding external sources. There should be effective ways in place to involve customers and users in the development process.


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