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Introduction to Product Development Lifecycle

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Phases of the product life cycle: Based of the revenue 

Introduction : Product is first introduced to the market. There is almost no competition and typically the product is losing money in this phase. Early adopters are the only one buying/using the product. 

Example : Right now the products related to the brain computer interactions like notion and neuralink would be in the introduction phases. 

Growth: Product is accepted by the marketplace and sales tend to rise. Product improvement takes pace to stay competitive and has few competition. 

Example : Snapchat app is constantly growing, so is the demand for electric vehicles like Tesla and Nio.  

Maturity: Sales reaches peak and other competitors enter the market as the product market is very lucrative and the competition might be difficult to the company bringing the original idea. 

Example : Twitter is going in the maturity phase and growth over time is stagnating. 

Decline: Product reaches saturation and the sales diminish. At this point the products are phased out due to the low revenue generated and hence the product becomes irrelevant.  

Example : Yahoo is going in the decline phase , their revenue over the time is going time. Fortunately they have been acquired by the verizon media.  

Product Development Process
There are seven main phases of the product development process. They are as follows:

Conceive : In this phase we gather the user problems and brainstorm the solutions. Identify the focus areas and the idea source is from the employee within the company building the product. 

Plan : This phase we do market research and make the business case about the problem. Also in this phase the customer reviews are done and the roadmapping of what product/features could be developed over a certain period of time. 

Develop: In this phase, we write timelines and the features that we want to have in this product. In this phase of the product we write the user stories and specifications. Also the estimation of the features and work is developed. Early prototype of the product or the MVP is developed in this phase which will be later reviewed and iterated based on the feedback. 

Iterate: After getting the early feedback from the user and testing the assumptions we can quickly start iterating before launching. Usually the alpha and beta releases of the product are delivered and those testers are recruited to understand if the product being built is heading to the right direction. 

Launch: This phase involves a cross collaboration with the marketing , legal and the sales team for the successful launch of the product to the public and see the reaction about the product from the mass public.  

Steady State: This phase involves collecting the metrics about the products and the product usage. Analysis and optimization of the product metrics is done in this phase. All of this is done to get the maximum ROI for the investment made into this product and the assessment for how likely to move forward with this product is done. 

Maintenance/ Kill : Based on the metrics collected , if the product is in advantageous state then we can maintain the product and generate the revenue else the product could be killed . It all depends on where the product aligns with the company’ vision and the revenue generation. Product is usually killed with sunsetting or slow transition to the end of lifecycle where users may have the option to backup their data or any other things relevant to them. 

What is Lean Product Development?

Lean Product Development is a philosophy of developing a product without the unnecessary work unless needed for the user or the customer. It is a smarter approach to building a product where you try to save the resources which are not absolutely required at the moment. For example: If you were to build the food  delivery business, instead of hiring the driver for the first few orders, you could just drive those foods to the customers and post those flyers for apps in the social media yourself as long as you can manage doing those. Later when the things get unmanageable, then you may hire the driver or the digital marketing specialist. This way you are saving on the resources unless absolutely required. 

What is Agile ?
Agile is a way of a lean mindset to product development. It is just a project management framework for product development.  In Agile, we iterate continuously by grouping the things into batches to save our resources. 
For example : Let’s say we come up with 10 new features to add to our facebook app, then probably in an agile way of SDLC, we might just research , develop and release the first 3 features we think might be the absolutely needed feature for our facebook app. We will then look for the feedback on them , and iterate over and over . 

There are two different Agile frameworks : 

SCRUM :
Stages of SCRUM :
Sprint Planning Meeting – Usually starts with the product backlog which consists of log of work which we have decided to work on and the important feature is prioritized and moved to the sprint backlog. Team then writes all the work that needs to be done to make that feature successful and each work is put into the PM tools as a ticket. 

Using Ticket –  The real development begins here and usually the sprint takes 2 weeks. Tickets are moved from the sprint backlog to “in progress” and then “done” . At the end of 2 weeks , everything within the sprint backlog needs to be completed or else they will be moved to the next sprint.

Standup Meetings – These are small daily meetings usually held in the morning with the team to understand the progress of the team . Standup is supposed to mean the meeting to be done standing and hence concise and short in nature (10-15 mins). 

Retrospective Meetings – These meetings are held at the end of the sprint with the team to talk about the after action review of the sprint . They usually talk about what went well, what didn’t and questions from the previous sprint.

KANBAN :

Kanban does not use a time boxed approach of sprints like SCUM does. And hence no sprint backlog or the estimation of sprints.. In Kanban, every task is just a ticket and is moved to “in progress” or “done” depending upon the state of the ticket. Also Kanban doesn’t have any definite meeting type like SCRUM has. Kanban operates on the concept that only a certain number of items can be in progress at one time. Customer service team might use the Kanban style of working. 

Happy managing the product 🙂 Next time we will talk about the market analysis!

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