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Planning a New Product

When starting on the build of a brand new product we first work with our clients to deeply understand their goals and help them elaborate on the vision. With a detailed vision, we can then best understand where to zone in on to deliver the highest value for users with the first market release. The features we plan during this stage help us to create a full product plan, map out the first release, and set long-term product roadmap milestones.

Expanding the Product Vision

To understand the product vision, we work together with our client to understand four key product pillars:

  1. Product Vision & Goals
  2. Target Market & Users
  3. Market Success & Failure
  4. Competitive Analysis

Pillar 1 - Product Vision & Goals

The more detailed the product vision the faster we can have a shared understanding of what we are building and what our long-term goals are. We walk our client through a planning session to understand topics such as:

  • What is the main goal of the product?
  • Who is the target market?
  • What is motivating the build of this product?
  • What would be the highest value features to first release to market?
  • What are the short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals?

Pillar 2 - Target Market & Users

Knowing who our client plans to target ensures we keep focused on that market, building the right feature set for this user type, testing with this demographic, having open discussions with these users, and keeping them at the forefront of our product development process. We discuss the target market with our client to better understand topics such as:

  • Which market is this product for?
  • Who will use this? Where are they? What do they do? What are their interests? What does their average day look like?
  • What is the pain point we are solving for this user?
  • Why will the target user love this product?
  • What will make the target user decide to choose this product?

Pillar 3 - Market Success & Failure

It is important to paint a clear vision of both how we can win in the market and what could cause us to fail. Understanding our threats helps us to avoid them as we drive towards success. We visualize this with our client to understand topics such as:

  • What factors are needed in the market to ensure success?
  • How will the project succeed?
  • What strengths could we focus on to lead to success?
  • Where do we see weakness in the current product vision?
  • Where do we see opportunity in what we are building?
  • What could cause the product to fail?

Pillar 4 - Competitive Analysis

Understanding the competitive landscape can help to influence the decision of which features to focus on, and which features may help us stand out from the other existing products in our segment. We can also better understand the experiences that users will find the most natural by drawing on common design patterns and standard functionality in products they already use. We deep dive into the competitive land to understand topics such as:

  • Which products already exist in our market segment?
  • Which features can we implement that will help us beat the competition?
  • How do we ensure differentiation from our market segment?
  • Which existing user design patterns are our target market users already familiar with?

Once we have a thorough understanding of the product our client envisions we can then begin to build out the product roadmap and set the scope for the first product release to market, prioritizing the features that are going to instantly engage the target market users and help drive product adoption.

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