Creating a new product is a challenging endeavour. It takes a lot of time, effort, money, and research to create anything from scratch, whether it’s a product or a feature.
Products manufactured in a rush or using the incorrect strategy would not produce the desired outcomes, just as Rome was not built in a day.
However, product managers seldom devote sufficient time to investigating customer wants and needs. This leads them to create features that are “nice to have” but not “must haves” for their target audience.
On the other hand, sometimes they begin with reasonable anticipations, but things go wrong along the way because priorities shift, deadlines are missed, or funds are redirected.
All of this occurs because the needs aren’t understood properly, something that can only be achieved through product discovery.
To help you create things that people want to use, we’ve put together this detailed manual on the product development process. This article will introduce you to the objectives, major steps, and results of the product discovery process. All of this will enhance your knowledge about the process and how to use it effectively for your business.
Let’s dig in deep now.
What Does it Mean by Product Discovery?
The Discovery stage is the first step in developing a product, and its main objectives are to learn about the client’s top priorities, conduct a market study, establish the project’s objectives, and define the project’s scope.
Steps in the Product Discovery Process:
Product development is not always a sequential process; it is common for the group to revisit earlier phases until they achieve success. There are, however, a few standard phases that always seem to be included in the agile product discovery process:
Here is our product discovery process, step by step.
Step 1: Product Alignment
The process of discovery involves people from a wide variety of fields and organizational tiers. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure everything is in order. At the beginning of the product discovery process, the client and the rest of the team should concentrate on pinpointing the central issue and gathering sufficient background information to investigate it thoroughly and develop a workable solution.
Stakeholder and product manager interaction is crucial during alignment because it yields insights that may be used in subsequent phases of the product development process. Now is not the time for the client to analyse the situation or provide suggestions; rather, they should outline the issues and their desired outcomes.
Step 2: Research and Evaluation
When the discovery team has a firm grasp of stakeholder issues and goals, they can begin to compare them with market possibilities and the actual needs, wants, and common issues of potential consumers. Researching and translating results into business and technical terminology is the next phase in the product discovery process. As before, it’s important to use a multi-pronged strategy to study topics from every angle, such as:
- Analysis of the market’s current state, potential growth, current trends, and dominant players in the niche.
- Examining the competition entails identifying both direct and indirect rivals and then considering each’s advantages and disadvantages, consumer value propositions, and potential for growth.
- Identifying the different sorts of clients that will purchase your goods through target audience study and segmentation.
It is important to use research methodologies that are suitable for the issues being asked. Check out the market research techniques we employ to dissect a product’s target audience, rivals, and sales potential, for instance.
Step 3: Finding an Ideal Solution
While the first two phases of product discovery focused on the issue domain, the third phase shifts the team’s attention to developing a potential solution.
There are certain benefits to using brainstorming techniques for coming up with ideas, but there are also some drawbacks to be aware of.
In many cases, attempts to be creative end up conforming to pre-existing prejudices. Participants are more likely to accept and run with a good idea presented during team sessions than to propose their own.
Step 4: Planning and Estimation
Moving from concept to development requires an estimate of the project’s scope and an execution strategy. The result of product discovery should be a solution that is ready for development, not only an empirical notion whose technological foundation is unknown. To create the potential deliverables, a business analyst collaborates with backend and frontend developers, UI/UX strategists, and QA professionals.
Why Is Product Discovery A Necessity?
Before moving into development, a discovery phase aids in removing false market assumptions. However, it’s not enough to just create a ground-breaking new product. If you want to be successful in the long run, your solution must be tailored to meet the demands of your target audience. Key gains from product discovery include the following:
Value-driven approach: Product discovery shows you the unique qualities of your product that will make it stand out from the competition and help your business succeed.
Identify the best solution: Focus on getting a good grasp of the core problems that need to be fixed. Don’t waste your money-making features that users don’t care about.
Cost-effectiveness: Developing a product costs a lot less when good product discovery is done. Implementation is easier when you know everything about the product’s environment, audience, and business model.
Strategy-oriented product: Knowing the market, the niche, the target market, and the difficulties they face can help you design the product’s strategic vector. With a well-thought-out plan, you can keep your product fresh and successful.
Eliminate risks and failures involved: Risks to usability and value can be reduced with more clarity in user needs. The right development plan lessens worries about the product’s viability and the company’s capacity to make a profit.
More time for marketing: Instead of testing ideas after the product has been delivered, product discovery lets you get rid of ideas that won’t work during discovery phase. So, the time it takes to get the finished product to market is reduced.