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Stages of Product Development
The product field commonly agree on different stages when we talk about Product Development.
There is a generally accepted sequence it takes to build new digital products.
The product field commonly agrees on different stages when we talk about Product Development. Firstly, we would start working on the idea or the business background to study the user interactions to build a prototype that serves for validating the concept at a high level.
We have covered already the first stages with our Sprint Zero Article so in this post, we will go through the key factors to succeed during the development stage and releases.
As a result of the Sprint Zero, we asset a design of the solution architecture, a mid-fidelity prototype, and a product backlog detailed at the user story level. Those fields compose the roadmap of the MVP typically organized by releases and prioritized along with the stakeholder's needs.
The following step should be creating the first version of the brand assets. I don't want to mean only naming or logo, but spending time creating a strong design system that aligns 360º with the communications of the new business.
This phase can take as long as the product needs, in terms of the owner's strategy or the importance in terms of desirability because of the audience (typically B2C businesses), but we are interested in building an MVP we can quickly launch and test with users.
However, in this post a want to make a loop at phase five 'build the product' to decode the framework we use at Wealize to deliver incremental value to users and businesses.
We would organize the product backlog into a tool like Jira or Notion that helps us configure easily and approach to different views like a product roadmap or user story map organized by epics or releases and related KPIs.
This will help us organize the user stories into a work rollout composed by pieces of product functionality in releases, following the guidance of the primary customer journey or business logic.
Now every piece of work is stored in one place, we organize our development work in Sprints, and we normally plan 2-4 sprints in advance from the general project scope in to be lean and deliver what's needed at every stage. This is only a reference, but this can vary depending on the terms with each customer or stakeholder.
Now that we've got the big picture of the product development stages, it's time to dive into the Sprint key points we use to ensure customer success during all stages.
For this matter, we guide our work by the following sprint framework to ensure we deliver value to customers:
The customer or stakeholders will prioritize the epic's roadmap in regards to the specific need at any moment of the development phase along with the product owner.
The development team will estimate the effort to include in every sprint regarding the user stories collected with the prioritized epics along with the product owner.
Sprint ReviewAll teams have a session where the product owner demo the customer what's been achieved during the sprint, and reflect on any blockers to re-plan the user stories if it's needed.
Having a more detailed view of everyday actions, here we promote some artifacts that help us ensure we deliver in time and incremental value every week.
The development team meets the product owner or project manager (PM/PO) for 15' on a daily basis to talk about the objectives of the day and detect any possible risk in the delivery.
The design team is included in the sprint planning to check if there are design archives needed to hand off a development feature for the following sprint.
The development team requests both a code and functional review to testers and colleagues to merge into development within the selected product stream.
We use Agile frameworks like Scrum or Sprint Zero to set up our value processes, and those tools and artifacts like the product roadmap, stakeholder's meetings, or technical project operations, help us keep on the way to build strong user-centric products and avoid diffuse mode or management risk with the stakeholders.
Based on years of experience designing and developing digital products, we can also ensure a proven method to build those businesses in time. There are general tasks like setting up the infrastructure and configuring the environments, as well as back-office operations on users and objects connected to the frontend features to close the happy path or business flow established for the MVP during the Sprint Zero.
We approach a 1+3 scope when designing products from scratch to succeed in the first 1-6 stages of the product life cycle. This is divided by the following milestones:
- Product Design: one month working on the Sprint Zero.
- Product Development: three months working on the MVP defined in the Sprint Zero.
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