Eyes on the prize: Product strategy sharpens focus from idea to launch
It all starts with ideas.
An idea to house audiobook and e-book collections that can be accessible to read and hear online and offline.
An idea to highlight and share the things and events of personal interest on a map.
An idea to keep track of what homework the kids must hand in, whose turn it is to cook (with recipes for reference) or to use the quiet room for online meeting or class, and easily see who must go where, when, what time, with whom and what to bring.
These ideas are now a reality. Having a product strategy enabled them to go from mere ideas in the mind and paper to something real.
Product strategy gives a roadmap
Fail to plan or plan to fail, as the saying goes. A product strategy gives a roadmap towards realizing the product from start to finish and beyond. It breaks the journey into stages with clear outlines and expectations on what needs to happen and deadlines to achieve them.
Doing so kickstarts and drives the momentum to make a dream come true. Over the years, Tech HQ has profiled several high-quality software development specialists.
In every case, these organizations have been to great lengths to show that their process includes a significant emphasis on Product Strategy, ensuring every aspect of a project is validated, tested, and informed.
The needed collaborative approach has been exceedingly difficult to achieve over the last couple of years. Still, a company we’ve previously written about, Miquido, has been going from strength to strength, despite particularly challenging circumstances for everyone.
Custom software development company Miquido breaks down the product strategy into five factors:
- Discover the problem to give more clarity to the idea
- Research more on the intended audience, market, and competition to shape the product vision
- Ideate to define the product goals
- Prototype for testing and fine-tuning before building and releasing a minimum viable product (MVP)
- Optimize by constant reviews and modifications (and drive continuous discovery), so the launched product continues to scale up, improve and satisfy its users.
With over a decade of experience, Miquido has helped create more than 150 web and mobile apps, so it knows more than a thing or two about how effective a product strategy can be for a business.
It has served those with just a seed of an idea, those who came in with a solid solution but lacked the knowledge to build and launch, and anyone in between at varying phases of development.
Shaping the vision
Defining the idea involves making its purpose and business opportunities clearer. Getting more knowledge about what problem the idea is solving or how it is different and better than existing products would help the eventual product have a competitive advantage and stand out.
Reviewing the technical feasibility is also essential to understand the risks and viability of the project. It could take a significant amount of effort, time, and money to create something new.
While every project is different, each will involve most of, if not all, the following:
- A period of conducting customer interviews and user testing, from initial inception through to completion and beyond into iterative improvements.
- Managed design and scoping sprints under the tutelage of scrum masters, if necessary.
- Feature prioritization and road map planning, with agile processes producing MVPs for critical testing.
- Assessments of competitors’ products and customer/market expectations.
- In-depth analysis of business requirements, translation of these to technical requirements, and vice versa.
- Pricing and revenue modeling.
- Pre-defining, agreeing, and tracking of success metrics.
Crystalizing the concept
Once there is a better understanding of the goals of the product, the brainstorming session can begin. This is when the concepts are hashed out, and a prototype is created to demonstrate its functionality.
This is the first physical manifestation of a test group’s idea to review and present to potential investors. Ideally, the reviews ought to be from the target audience and not from anyone you can conveniently rope into doing you a favour.
The point is to see how the intended users interact with the prototype. In addition, learn from their feedback to smoothen any kinks and fix anything overlooked in the pilot design.
Quick to market
Next, it is time to build the MVP. This is not the final product, but it has sufficient features for a soft launch. By releasing it as soon as the app is viable to use, the business can start getting feedback from the early adopters and continue to patch up in areas where it can do better.
Delivering the product to market fast or at the desired time can be a considerable advantage. Aside from having the ability to ascertain if the app is worth continued investment, producing an MVP gives the business the agility to strike the market when it’s hot.
Taking too long in development eats into the business capital and may make you miss the best opportunity to launch the product. And in the world of rapidly evolving tech, there is also a danger of the idea being made obsolete because someone else got there first, and their solution is even better than yours.
Tweaks, turns, forward and up
The product release is just the beginning of a new journey. Sure, there will be hiccups and glitches along the way, but that is part and parcel of growth. Scaling up is included in the product strategy. Learning with data accumulated from more people using the product allows for the total user experience (tUX) to be measured and gives more insight to enhance the product.
While all these can be done on your own, of course, there are merits to having a team of experts to give guidance, support and skills that may be lacking. This is where product consultants could make an idea a money-making reality more efficiently.
Miquido, for example, has strategic expertise to give relevant advice and recommendations, provide UX research, and host workshops to help craft your product strategy. It even has a product bootcamp which can prove a concept in just four weeks for those who need that extra push to focus and get it done.
“At the beginning of cooperation with Miquido, we had a lot of ideas for product development but no specific plan. The two-day workshop helped us to broaden the perspective, sort out areas and create a backlog of tasks for further work on the mobile app,” said Michal Kiender, product manager at Empik Go, a mobile app for reading and listening to digital books which now houses the largest collection of audiobooks and e-books in Poland.
Teamwork makes the dream work when collaborating with the right group of people rooting for your success. Not everyone can learn everything or access more extensive resources for better competitive analysis business and market insights.
“Miquido’s CTO suggested a lot of cutting-edge ideas, which saved us significant resources and time. It made us feel like they weren’t trying to get as much money as possible out of us but would rather see us succeed in a long-term partnership,” said Michael Milner, CEO of YouMap, which allows users to create beautiful, customized maps in minutes through its app and website.
Yes, those apps are the first two ideas mentioned at the article’s beginning. The other two ideas are HelloFresh, the number one meal kit company in the world delivering wholesome meals and named in Best Apps of 2016 by Google, and Picniic, the next-generation family organizer and task management platform, that recorded more than 50,000 downloads in Google Play.
It just goes to show that with the proper support and product strategy, an idea can be much more than a pipe dream.
If your organization is looking for a bespoke development partner, either as an extension for your existing team or a standalone capability for an application or discrete project, Miquido’s abilities and recommendations make it a choice that’s well worth serious consideration.
Reach out to a Product Strategy Specialist to discuss your requirements in more detail, starting right here. Whether your first language is C or Change Management, there will be someone who can talk to you on your terms.