What is New Product Development (NPD)?

Read this article to learn all about how the new product development (NPD) process works and how it can give your company a competitive edge!

People talking about roadmap priorization.

New Product Development Concept

New Product Development (NPD), also known as new product management, is usually a process of the Development department and consists mainly of all the steps you take from:

  • Conceptualizing
  • Designing
  • Developing 
  • Marketing a new product/service

The ultimate goal when developing a new product is pretty clear: to maintain/increase your company’s results by constantly satisfying your customer’s ever-changing demands.

It’s safe to say that product development is a fluid process, it’s always changing and adapting to the company’s and customer’s needs. Some steps may work differently depending on the nature of your product/service but some principles such as brainstorming, prototyping and getting customer feedback will always be present.

Some organizations, mainly larger ones, will likely have an internal innovation/development department but it’s not uncommon to see smaller companies outsourcing product development to companies that specialize in this process.

The product manager, the person responsible for all aspects of the development process, will likely interact with many departments of its company (marketing, customer success, development, etc.).

Why New Product Development is important?

Having a well defined and planned product development strategy is key for giving your product/service a huge advantage over your competition. Knowing where your product/service stands, as well as the steps you must take to up its game, can make all the difference between your business’ success and utter failure.

NPD relies mainly on a creative process but that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a systematic approach to guide this process. There’s a wide variety of frameworks that can help your product development team by providing them with guidelines and specific steps that makes the most sense to your industry and customer base.

Let’s consider Design Thinking as a possible framework for promoting collaboration and creating a creative environment. Design Thinking has five main components:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

They provide you a clear structure for guiding the NPD process, from learning about the problem/situation that’s inspiring this new development from many different angles and further identifying and defining the problem to brainstorming possible solutions, prototyping and testing them internally and externally to get your customer’s feedback.

Development team collaborating on agile practices.

3 Tips to Develop a New Product 

Define Your Persona(s)

It’s extremely important to clearly define your target market and your personas in order to identify the customer base characteristics as well as defining the paths to follow when improving your products/services.

Research About Your Target Market

Knowing who you want to please and sell to is critical for defining your development strategy. That’s why it’s so important to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research all through the NPD process – from the concept to the launch.

What better way to know if you’re on the right track than asking the people you expect to actually give you money for it?

Always Be Customer-Centric

What makes design thinking such a great innovation and development framework is the fact that it’s customer-centric. Considering the fact that developing new features and adapting products/services is all about the customer, making him the sun of your product galaxy is the right path to follow.

Building Your Product Development and Roadmap Process

Now you understood what Product Development is and why it’s essential to any company nowadays, it’s time to start implementing it.

Pipefy has a ready-to-use template of Product Roadmap that will give you full control over your process, tracking deadlines and managing sprints. 

Take a look at the Template right now

Head of Customer Support @Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to help users make the best of Pipefy via support and writing informative content pieces. Besides being in charge of support, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover, and a professional photographer.

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