It has been said that unlike schooling, life gives you the test first and then the lesson. Product development is no exception to this rule of thumb. Due to the complexity of product development, there are many areas of risk. It’s helpful to keep in mind that things will go wrong. Great product development involves a process of gracefully recovering from the unexpected. It’s the nature of innovation to experience failure and learn from it. However, the product development process can be made easier by avoiding the following product development disasters.
Lack of communication
Discovering that communication is not a strong point of a team after the project has begun is costly and frustrating. If a team is to succeed with product development, each team member must be able to communicate effectively. Some will be better than others. This is where documentation becomes vital.
Documentation of processes and tasks is not enough. Effective documentation requires detailed information with version tracking. If a team is suffering from documenation’idous, assigning a point person who has experience with handling documentation can be key to success.
Incorrect Market Assessment
Microsoft learned this the hard way with the launch and eventual failure of the not so popular Microsoft Zune. With new trends such as social media, it has never been easier to listen to the market and what they want. There is no reason why a development team cannot be listening and conversing with their intended market during development.
Also considered the kiss of death in the product development world. Feature creep can stall a team out for months or years if not managed properly. When developing physical products, it’s hard to step back and set a goal of shipping a final product, but it must be done.