The best product development process summarised in 5 steps

In the past year, I have written a great deal on app & product development, but it is a topic that people are always asking for more clarity on.

App & product development is a space where a thousand things can and probably will go wrong so how to make sure that your app & product development process is streamlined and held together, no matter how rocky the road or choppy the waves.

1. Identify team roles

The challenge is that the tech space is not just growing, but merging into everything. A wearable is not just a watch, it will be the clothing you wear. AI is not just a robot, it is Siri who you speak to daily and what populates your newsfeed. To accommodate this shift, the roles in app & product development are growing and shifting. An example is UX which some see as a business analyst, others as UI and others see as a researcher. Another example in app & product development is developers; there are different languages, front-end and backend, native and hybrid and differing skill sets. As we all come together to create new products and services during app & product development, what is we need are defines of the roles and a clear understanding of tasks associated with those roles. Time spent on this is never a waste and will lay the foundation of good collaboration.

2. Communication

Set-up and agree on communication channels as well as rules for communication. For example, at Polymorph, we use Slack as our primary tool for communication. We have meeting-free days to allow for developers and designers to work unencumbered by task switching. This is essential to great app & product development processes. Over communicate rather than under communicate and if you don’t understand, fully and deeply understand, ask and ask again.

3. Do the grunt work

Use the canvases we have put together in the handy free e-book. We put them in one book. Download it. It is free. It is full of the wisdom of six people and the work of a great designer. It is the all in one e-book for app & product development. Use it.

4. Know your figures

Know how you will generate revenue and how much it is going to cost to get there. Ensure you have a marketing budget. It doesn’t stop there. The other figures are your metrics. Know how to measure your success and why you are using those metrics. Keep an eye on both during the app & product development process

5. The three L’s: Launch, Learn, Leverage

Launch your product immediately. Build the minimum and launch it. Learn from everyone. Speak to anyone who will give you five minutes. surround them with snacks, buy coffees, drinks, speak to strangers. Leverage the learning. Do not waste time asking people if you are not going to use their answers. Everyone is busy, everyone has their own stuff going on, everyone has a loved one they would rather be with. Don’t disrespect people when they give you their precious time. Use the data you have received. If you can handle criticism, you have a much better chance at continued success and growth during the app & product development process

Almost a decade of app & product development and I am always looking for ways to refine the process. What are the ways you refine your app & product development process?

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