Product Development Process
Understand the goal
Understanding the goal of a project is key to its success. Like building a house, the foundations are not visible when the project is complete, but if not-enough effort is placed on implementing them, the end result will not live up to expectations.
Research the application
Build knowledge of the market and existing products. Research factors that could contribute to the success of the product. Perform patent searches to verify that there is freedom to operate, increase technical understanding of the application and investigate what competitors are doing.
Generate concepts that can realise the goal and project charter. Brainstorm and be inspired by what others are doing. Document the factors and characteristics that will determine the success of the finished product and use a structured, methodical approach to selecting the most promising concepts.
Develop the design
Refine a concept (or concepts) into something that can be produced, and that satisfies the functional and technical requirements of the project charter.
Verify the product
Use FEA, analytical methods and physical testing to prove that the product is fit for purpose. Don’t wait until the end of the development process, begin as early as possible and iterate the design before parts have been manufactured.
Review and adjust
Throughout the product development process the design should be reviewed by stakeholders and adjustments made accordingly. This should be both a continuous process and something that occurs at predefined stages of the development process.
Protect your design
Select a strategy to protect your designs. Protecting intellectual property is not as simple as obtaining a patent. Patent strategy must be methodical and structered, and protect the differentiating aspect of your design.