Negosentro.com | Production Lifecycle: Making Things People Want | There’s an art to creating a product that your customers actually want. It’s not a one-and-done matter, either. Even once your product is out in the world, it will require updates and modifications to stay relevant to customers both old and new. A lot of this is built on a continuous research cycle that becomes a continuous production cycle. What does your product’s lifecycle look like and how can you ensure that your product is relevant and your company is healthy?
First of all, make sure that you are strong on the fundamentals in pre-production. Conduct focus groups interviews to see what people want in a product and what they think of your product as it is being developed. Make sure that you have hired professionals with experience in the area of optimizing the user experience and interface. Don’t forget that your competition is a resource; look at what other companies with similar products have done. Their successes and failures have a lot to teach you. The goal is to make sure that your product is as beautiful and useful as possible when it launches, to make sure that you are starting from a position of strength and building upon a solid foundation.
The work of design and optimization doesn’t end with the launch; it’s essential to continue gathering information about how to improve your product after it has launched. Focus groups can become customer satisfaction surveys as your product moves out into the real world. It’s likely that your customers will encounter bugs you never even realized were there, no matter how much work you do before launch. Be prepared to collect that feedback and implement updates as needed.
Seeking expert advice is a time-honored tradition. Make sure that you have user experience and interface experts on hand. This is essential in preproduction but it doesn’t become less necessary once your product is out in the world. If you’re thinking of implementing an update based on customer feedback, you should still run it by more experienced eyes before you update production. They will know how these things can and have gone wrong in the past, and hopefully, they will be able to steer you right.
Experts don’t just work for you, remember. Competitor products aren’t mere adversaries on the battlefield of business; they’re important resources for improving your own practices and products. Most companies are not at the cutting edge of innovation in their fields, and they can take advantage of those pacemakers who are. Being at the cutting edge means making a lot of mistakes and false steps, which the companies behind you can then see and hopefully avoid if they’re looking carefully. Competitor analysis can help you find and avoid pitfalls before you fall into them.
Proactivity and Reliability
After you’ve launched your product, it’s important to stay proactive about making improvements, but not too proactive. Remember what was said about being on the cutting edge; being too proactive about updating your product means more bugs and more missteps. That adds up quickly and can become very expensive to your company. That said, relying too much on what already exists and never updating your product means falling behind and being outperformed by other, more innovative companies. That can also cost you money in the long run. There is, as there is in all things, a balance to be struck between proactive updates and reliable, dependable products.
Creating a product that people want is only the first stage of a process that is ongoing, and constantly cycling back to what the customer wants. . Products have a life cycle all their own, and optimizing that life cycle is essential to your success as a business. Make sure that your research fundamentals are strong before launch but keep in mind that customer feedback, expert advice, and competitor research will continue to play a role as you try to strike a balance between proactivity and reliability with your product.