What is the Product Development Process?

Explaining the product development process is going to be a painful and tedious process. It’s not that the process is difficult, nor is it a problematic field in any way. It’s just painfully difficult to explain this in words. It’s impossible to not miss describing something important, resulting in an incomplete view of what the process is.

What it Means:

The product development process is the process wherein a product is conceptualized, prototyped, tested thoroughly, measured, planned, branded, advertised and then distributed.

Basically, it’s the journey of a general product (not an individual unit) from idea to being for sale and popular (if you’re lucky, on that last).

So, like a customer experience or customer journey, it’s a long path of many phases each with their own obstacles, disciplines involved and relation to the overall scheme.

Where does it start?

The Conceptualization:

All ideas start somewhere in one mysterious way or another. There’s no accounting for this. But upon initial realization of a new idea for a product, the next immediate aspect is to work through how it would work, and how likely the success of it would be.

From there, it’s on to initial testing to see how people receive the idea. If it seems hopeful, then proceed on to the next part of the process, which has more actual work.

Research and Development:

So you know your product? How will it be packaged and produced? Never mind that for the moment! In stead, worry about getting a viable incarnation of the product in a prototype form, and keep testing and re testing until it not only meets with the envisioned idea, but tests well with groups as well.

After R&D, you move on to refinement.


In refinement, you determine through additional R&D how best to package the product for delivery, and what processes must go into its manufacture, packaging, handling and shipping for distribution.

Facilities must be set up to handle that, and employees hired and trained to work the production systems. It’s a logistical challenge, but you can do it!

After you have that worked out, bang out prototypes of the envisioned final product and packaging, and test this on groups as well. Test it relentlessly until you are positive that it works just as it is.


Vendors are only now important, if you need vendors at all and aren’t handling this yourself. But securing shelf space in vendors of your product type and related ones is very important.

In getting a vendor to be interested in your product, aren’t you glad you’re ready to roll them out, and have prototypes of what they would literally get, available for them to try?

Production and Entry into Product Management Cycle:

Now, you launch the product with marketing campaigns and placement strategies, and you begin the repeating cycle of maintained product management for your product. That is, you will if it doesn’t fail miserably out of the gate.

You’ll do fine though.


The product development process is hard to sum up in a few concise words, like I just did, but I feel I did it justice by conveying the core of what it mostly entails. It’s more complicated, by far, than how this made it sound.


Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.