In today’s fast-paced tech market, it can be tempting to rush into development so you can be the first to enter the market with a new product. However, it is important to never overlook the importance of first having an in-depth understanding of the customer needs you are attempting to address. This is where it is critical to take the time to research your target customer base through Product Discovery.
Product Discovery is a data-driven approach to product development that allows your team to dig deeper into your customer pain points by identifying key recurring patterns tied to the problems that your users face. Equipped with these powerful insights your team can then test and validate how to best design a product to cater to their specific needs and preferences with data-backed confidence.
Product Discovery offers numerous benefits to your business by helping steer your product development in the right direction with data-driven insights. Here are some of the most impactful ways that Product Discovery can aid your product development stage and your business as a whole:
1. Empower your decision-making process
Selecting the best product idea to pursue and the right product features to keep can be a challenge for even experienced product teams when they only have their intuition and experience to base their choices on. This is where Product Discovery can help guide your team’s decision-making with data-led insights that can be uncovered via a multitude of sources including customer interviews, focus groups, user feedback surveys, existing product analytics, and competitor analyses.
With Product Discovery, you no longer need to take a chance with risky product ideas that are uncertain to work. Instead, your team can validate these ideas and narrow down which product ideas resonate the most with actual users. This lets you more strategically decide where to invest your team’s time and effort and avoid ideas that are less likely to work.
Product Discovery also helps you keep up with customer demands and trends by giving you an understanding of what people are looking for in a product. This allows you to make decisions from a customer-centric point of view and provide the best products to your users.
2. Build a robust framework for Agile development
The Agile development model can be a powerful tool that mitigates the risk of future delivery and shortens your time-to-market. However, having a clear product vision is key to proper planning and implementation.
This is where a value-based approach like Product Discovery naturally lends itself to an Agile development project. By conducting thorough customer research, testing hypotheses, and gathering feedback, you can begin to map out the scope of the project. This helps your team to better plan each sprint and ensure that all goals are achievable within their given timeframes.
Product discovery also reduces risk, as it allows for customer feedback to be incorporated into the product development cycle. With regular customer input, you can make sure that your product development remains on track and meets expectations – something that is integral to successful Agile development.
3. Secure C-level buy-in with data-backed insights
As your projects continue to grow in complexity and scope, it can be a struggle to get leadership teams to approve funding for projects. However, Product Discovery can help you build a stronger business case in a few important ways.
First, the insights gathered through Product Discovery can assist you in defining a compelling product vision and direction for your project. This will help inspire more confidence in your proposal by showing how your product idea is connected to your company’s broader goals and your customer pain points.
Through prototyping, Product Discovery also helps you create a minimum viable product (MVP) to support your proposal. With an MVP, you can give board members a clearer idea of what your end product will look like. It also provides reassurance that your planned product is technically feasible and budget friendly.
Lastly, the user feedback that you gather through Product Discovery can also help display the initial interest that your product has already sparked. This gives your proposal yet another powerful indicator of potential success that you can point to and give it even more persuasive power.
4. Enable limitless scalability
Whenever your business launches a new product, enters a new market, or attracts a larger customer base, it becomes crucial that your business has the scalability to expand your product team without compromising the quality that your customers have learned to expect from your products.
One major hurdle that impedes scalability is a poor understanding of how to expand your team efficiently. Product Discovery can assist you by laying out how the delivery stage will proceed in advance and inform the hiring process.
This will help you acquire the right blend of people with the proper expertise for the job while using labor resources optimally. In short, Product Discovery enables you to better plan for scalability so that your teams are always ready to take on any project, no matter the size or complexity.
How to get started with product discovery
Product Discovery has no singular fixed methodology and the exact product discovery technique that is right for you will likely depend on your project. That said, the Product Discovery process can still be divided into 3 general stages based on the 3 big questions that it seeks to answer.
· Where are you now?
This stage is focused on clearly defining the customer pain points you are addressing and your business objectives. This stage will also assess the status of your team in terms of the total number of members and the skill sets they offer.
· Where do you want to be?
This stage will identify what your ideal outcome for the project is and how that impacts your business. This is also the start of the planning stage that will decide how the delivery phase will proceed efficiently.
· How can you get there?
This stage will establish the details of the product and the workflows and skill sets required while taking into consideration the project’s constraints such as time, budget, and resources. If the Agile development model is being used, the planning for each sprint is also set at this point.
Would you like to learn more?
Are you interested in learning more about how Product Discovery is integral to a customer-centric approach to product development? Then feel free to get your own copy of our ebook, Customer-centric product development, to learn more about it.
We understand however that implementing and optimizing your Product Discovery process can be a tricky process for any business. This is where Ciklum, a leading custom product engineering company that specializes in Product Discovery can help you tap into data-driven insights so you can be sure that you are committing to the right product initiatives.
Ready to elevate your product development and bring winning innovative products to market faster? Contact us today!