3 Easy Ways To Speed Up Your Product Development

Developing a new product is a time-consuming, expensive and risky endeavor. Regardless of how much time and energy you devote to the development of your new product, there is always a possibility that it will fail. In addition, the amount of time and money spent in this effort could ultimately make it unrealistic to complete.

Since you are competing against others in your market, you may feel inclined to rush through the development process. However, in order to excel at product development, you need to know how to work efficiently and at the same time keep the production costs as low as reasonably possible. Therefore, speeding up the process without sacrificing the quality or creating a shoddy end result is critical. The following tips will give you all the information you need to refine and speed up your product development.

Have a Detailed Plan Early On

Creating a product development plan up-front may be challenging because of the numerous factors associated with it. However, when you spend time planning your development efforts as early as possible, you can better guide your decision-making processes, and ensure that you have the funds and resources available to bring your product to market.

The last thing that you may want to deal with is a funding issue that ultimately prevents you from bringing your product to market in a timely manner or at all. Avoid that mistake by including ample wiggle room in your budget and timeline to address critical issues and make important or necessary changes.

Every product development decision that you make going forward should be based on the best result for your customers. Therefore, you should conduct a thorough research to identify if there is a considerable need or desire for your product in the marketplace and how it relates to your target audience. When you spend time researching these details up-front, you will be able to proceed more quickly through the upcoming production stages with fewer issues or delays.

Speed Up Decision Making By Improving Team Communication

Time is money when you are developing a new product, so you must establish open lines of communication with your team in various ways. Remember that any delays in response on your end may create delays in the development process. By making yourself easily and readily available to your product development team, both you and your team will have information that helps make timely decisions and speed up the process. You may also hire a product development manager so that everyone working on the project has a single point of contact.

Other than slowing down your product development, a delay in approval or feedback at various stages in the process may significantly postpone the launching of your new product. As a result, you may miss the opportunity to beat your competition to the punch and lose a large share of the market.

In addition, you may find that your customers’ needs and desires have changed. Ultimately, this could cause your product to flop even before it’s launched. However, if you do recognize them early on, you will have the opportunity to tweak your product so it addresses market demands and desires. Focus on making thoughtful, informed and expedited decisions when possible if you want to avoid a wide range of expensive and potentially damaging delays.

Leverage 3D Printing Technology

A critical and often expensive aspect associated with product development involves creating a prototype. Hiring a third party firm to create a prototype is common, but also costly and time-consuming. This is particularly true when you consider how many renditions of the prototype you may have to go through until it is perfected.

An alternative to working with a manufacturer to generate a prototype of your new product is to either use an in-house 3D printer or to outsource it. Traditional manufacturing requires removing material from a single piece or creating multiple parts for assembly, which adds time and labor. By using 3D printing, not only will you be able to speed up the prototype creation process but also keep the output costs the same regardless of how many revisions you make.

Remember that you may have to take your prototype to focus groups to analyze the changes that may be needed before you begin mass production. The prototype of your product will probably need multiple iterations at this stage, so it’s crucial to choose the technology that does that quicker and more affordably. Making this process faster and more affordable can dramatically improve the product development process.

Final Thoughts

Introducing new products to the marketplace can help meet your customers’ ever-changing needs, boost profits, define your brand and more. However, the process itself is oftentimes lengthy and expensive. Nevertheless, there are multiple steps that you can take to speed up your product development process and get the best possible results.

Heather Redding is a part time assistant manager and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is a coffee-addict who enjoys swimming and reading. Street photography is her newly discovered artistic outlet and she likes to capture life's little moments with her camera.

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