Product innovation teams can have a multitude of ideas or designs for products that will forever change the way their client’s businesses work, as well as how consumers interact with them. But successfully reaching that point is often difficult. Launching a product that benefits the client and makes it to market successfully is a double win, but it requires constant collaboration between both the consultant and client teams.
Follow these steps to ensure your product innovation team knows what it takes to deliver exactly what the client needs.
Set the Engagement for Success
Unknowns are always a given at the start of a new project, no matter if your team is proving out specific functionality, producing a demo, or creating an MVP version of a product. The first step to success begins with getting everyone involved on the same page, starting with a plan of action such as the following:
Your team needs to understand what problem they’re solving before diving into the project, meaning your team needs to work in tandem with the client Product Owner to define the product feature list with help from client leadership and stakeholders. This will help determine if there is an issue that needs solving, if there is substantial data to support the case, and if competitors are already working on, or have a solution for the market. These are all good starting points to answer early in your product journey.
Goal and Scope Definition
If the answer to these questions is yes, then it’s time to start defining and aligning on project goals, building a timeline, and setting project milestones. As your team begins to define the project scope, try to factor in specifics such as considering how this product fits within the client’s ecosystem and identifying how it will benefit the client in the end. Make sure the team is prioritizing the right features; a product doesn’t always have to ship in its ideal state, but rather with the highest impact features that will provide immediate value to your users/customers. Regularly engaging with stakeholders through frequent checkpoints ensures your team is making the right progress, as well as with business timeline drivers that affect the project, such as a quick deadline or budgets. Features and prioritization will likely evolve as the project progresses, but aligning on goals and scope upfront ensures the entire team knows what direction the ship is heading in, and helps to prevent major miscommunications.
Design and Build Will Follow
Once your product innovation team sets a plan in motion, it’s time to begin the design and build phase. It is important to bake in time for testing during the earliest stages of a new product feature, followed by collaboration with your team and client for feedback on any aspect that can be elaborated or improved upon during these phases. Measuring feedback through methods such as user-concept testing or consumer research is also beneficial to consider. These phases are meant to be iterative processes; you don’t have to aim for perfection right off the bat. Not only does this keep everyone aligned on product details and the timeline, but it also helps to foster creativity and collaboration as you move forward with the project.
Deliver an Initial Product and Prepare to Retrace Steps
When delivering the final product, make sure your team has a measurement strategy in place to analyze against those initial project goals, such as specific key performance indicators (KPI) or return on investment (ROI) you are attempting to create with this product. Assessing your accomplishment of these goals will help determine the success of the project. If your team notices any hang-ups or roadblocks with the product, reiterate and consider the next steps before delivering again. More than likely, you will continue iterating and adding features after launch, so be sure to capture all learnings from the design and build phase for future endeavors.
Get Your Team Prepared
The demand for new products and functionalities to improve the user experience is greater than ever, and following these steps to successfully build and bring a product to market will benefit your team, client, and end-consumers now and in future endeavors. To find out more, please contact our experience design experts today.
Contributions made by Kevin Galli.