Common Product Development Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Posted by Maziar Adl
Maziar Adl
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Product managers are the leaders in product development in that they bring the necessary stakeholders together. They're also responsible for managing product roadmaps to ensure their product gains a competitive edge in consumer markets. A leading product is one that is novel and satisfies a need. With consumer desires changing over time, staying up to date with current trends and anticipating competitor moves is vital for success. 


Believing More Features Solve Everything

Illustration: Simplify FeaturesAdding new features to a product can seem like a good product strategy, but this will only work if they are features that your consumer actually values. If your latest product release was a success, identify what it was about the product that provided the most value to the consumer. Does this feature continue to provide value? Does your product still hold a competitive advantage?

While continuous improvement is a crucial aspect of managing the product line, adding a new feature for the sake of having something new to advertise will rarely generate results. Promoting a newer item without any increase in functionality will not increase sales or generate more revenue.

Implementing new features also requires an investment of time and money to research and then develop the additional feature. If a product has proven to be a success and is still in the growth phase of the product lifecycle, simple updates to color or design might be all that is required to revamp a product and attract new buyers. With functionality already proven, it might be wiser to invest in research and development resources. It might be financially more rewarding to invest in the development of newer, more advanced technology that will be used for the next generation of products.

Focusing on Low-Value Solutions

Staying competitive with your product line requires continued market research and consultation with customer success teams. Your customer success teams are an important resource for understanding the perceptions of the end users of your products. Through feedback and analysis, you can determine which features your consumer values and which features have room for improvement. 


Analytics and Visualization Software to Model Different Scenarios

Use product roadmap management tools to understand the effect of adding, removing, or updating product features. These tools will calculate the financial cost of the proposed changes. Modeling different product and feature scenarios and analyzing the projected results provides valuable quantitative data that can assist in the decision-making process. 

Gocious Screenshot: Financial Roadmap Highlights

While developing a new product is essential to stay ahead of the market, continually making updates to the existing product line can be a low-value solution. This is why it is vital to analyze your product performance data to determine whether it is more profitable to focus on a new product coming to the market or invest in a current product with a feature or component update. 


Ignoring Market Needs

One fatal error a product manager can make when building new products is to ignore customer demand. A product will sell if it fills a need, and extensive market research and feedback from customer success teams will help to identify that need. 


Market Trends

Illustration: Increase NPS Process Example

Market research is extremely important to identify gaps and opportunities for product improvements. It helps to establish what is selling, as well as detect current and future trends that will help to define your new product and its associated features. 


The Voice of The Customer

Customer success teams can offer a wealth of knowledge regarding your customer's experiences with existing products. They can help you to understand:

  • how the customer uses your product 
  • where the customer finds the most value 
  • any limitations of the product's current functionality 

Gaining better insight into your product market can propel you toward building more advanced, higher-value products that satisfy a need and exceed the consumer's expectations. 


Not Validating an Idea - Cross-Collaboration With Your Teams

No matter where a product idea comes from, team consultation, consumer feedback, and financial analysis are important to determine the viability of a product. Your product teams were hired for their knowledge and expertise in their field. This is why collaborating closely with your product teams and encouraging their feedback is crucial in developing a new product. 


Illustration: Gocious PRM Department Intersections

Engineering Teams

The engineering department will advise on features and functionality. They will also likely introduce new ideas that will promote innovation in your product line. 


Design Teams

Introducing a high-end product design can enhance the aesthetics, making it more desirable to the end user. Even something as simple as designing a product to look "cooler" or adding a new feature can open your product up to an entirely new and untapped market.  


Customer Success Teams

During the early development stage, consumer focus groups can provide valuable insight into the anticipated reception of a new product. How do they respond to the feature updates? Do they see a key benefit and greater value in the new product over an existing product?


Finance Team

What are the financial costs of developing and taking a new product to market? Based on cost and revenue projections, is the product financially viable? 


Product Scoring Tools to Validate Your Decisions 

While extensive consultation and feedback from product teams are vital in the product decision-making process, product analysis tools such as weighted scoring give you quantitative insight to assess whether your product meets its goals. 

Not Managing Your Roadmaps in One Place

Using a set of disparate tools to plan and implement your product strategy is inefficient and ineffective. Product roadmap management software provides a single platform from which to communicate, collaborate, create and share information with your key stakeholders. 

With this cloud-based platform being fully accessible from any location, it is easy to collaborate with remote teams. Real-time updates to reports and product roadmaps also ensure that only the most up-to-date information is accessible to your product teams.

Gocious Screenshot: Medical Screen Callouts


Knowing The Characteristics of Agile Manufacturing 

Illustration: Saving IdeasCareful planning and insightful decision-making are vital to executing a successful product strategy. The discrete manufacturing process is complex, and supply chain disruptions can have a serious impact on the production process. Therefore, risk management strategies to mitigate these effects must be built into your roadmap. Changes in the market and variability of consumer demand also require the ability to adapt, ensuring fast delivery in response to changing customer needs. 

Frequent or long delays in product development can seriously affect the product launch. This is why staying agile and maintaining production in times of volatility will help maintain a competitive advantage in the market. When you build agility into your processes, you are better able to respond quickly to changing needs. 


Improve Your Products with PRM Software 

Product roadmap management software provides the agility you need to plan your strategy, develop your roadmap, and manage your teams more effectively. Book your free demo to see how Gocious can eliminate your product development challenges and help you meet your product goals more effectively.  

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Topics: Product Development, PRM

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