Posted on February 21, 2023 | All
Product Engineering- Bringing ideas to reality
Product engineering is the code-powered bridge between forming an idea and executing the solution. The process has a range of standpoints, starting with a problem statement and gathering the resources needed to execute the roadmap built. You create a product that meets the market’s needs and demands by analyzing the competitors. At CI, we bring apps and software into reality based on the entrepreneur’s vision; we create a minimum viable product, test it for the market, and ensure it meets industry standards. Building analytical software takes precision, clarity, and vision to align with the tech capabilities. This case study touches upon what happens when building an analytical product from scratch for a startup from ground zero.
When a company hires or outsources work to an external firm to design, develop, and launch a new product or service, it includes a wide range of tasks, such as prototyping, testing, and quality assurance, as well as more specialized tasks like user experience (UX) design, software development, and hardware engineering. By outsourcing product engineering, a company can access external expertise and resources they may not have in-house and save time and money by not having to build and maintain an internal development team. Product engineering service providers like CI Global have experience working with various technologies and industries, which benefits companies looking to launch a new product or service in a foreign market. But how does product engineering start? Where does it lead? What are the points to keep in mind before you end at profits? Keep reading to know more.
How to find the problem statement?
Start with a clear understanding of the problem that the product addresses. It will be easier to create a product that meets the needs of its intended users and is viable from a business perspective. When defining the problem or opportunity, it’s essential to start with the user needs, understand your market’s size and how the product should address specific needs, and then design the solution with the user in mind.
- Build a technically and economically viable product to build and maintain features further down the line.
- In the competitive landscape, your product should differentiate itself from existing products in the market.
- Research existing solutions and understand the problem or opportunity to create a product that meets user needs and aligns with the overall business objectives and strategy.
- An in-depth understanding helps to increase the chances of product success and reduce development costs.
This step helps to validate if there is a real need and market for the product, avoiding the risk of building something that will not be used or adopted by the users.
Create the path for an idea to become action
Once you’ve identified the problem statement, the next step is the idea-to-action plan that takes an initial idea and charts a way to turn it into a functional product. The process emphasizes R&D, design, prototyping, testing, and roll-out. The goal is to create products that meet the needs of their intended users, are functional and reliable, and can be manufactured and sold at a profit. The path often includes lean methodology and agile development.
Competitor analysis and product creation
A gap analysis is critical in identifying areas where a competitor’s product is lacking and where your product can improve or differentiate itself. Stay updated on competitors’ products, including features, pricing, and user feedback, by conducting a thorough analysis. Look for areas where the competitor’s product lacks or cannot meet the user needs due to brand philosophical differences. The issues can include missing features, poor user experience, or high pricing. Like Twitter and the option to edit your tweet, they cannot develop this feature because it’s against twitter’s philosophy of taking a snap of your thoughts at that time.
The following are the pointers you need to know about when doing competitor analysis:
- Identify opportunities by improving or differentiating your product from the market offers.
- The competitor analysis includes adding new features, improving user experience, or matching the competitor’s pricing scale.
- Develop a unique value proposition using the information gathered in the gap analysis to communicate how your product addresses the gaps identified.
- Test and validate the gaps and opportunities for perfecting the product concept with potential users, improve product design for usability, and build features accordingly.
Build the process for progress
Creating a structured and repeatable method is essential for taking a product from idea to launch. After identifying the opportunity, thoughts for the product develop into a concept that is presentable to stakeholders. The initial stage is where ideas for new products are usually through brainstorming sessions or user research. Refine design and development by considering user experience, technical feasibility, and cost factors. The process helps create detailed specifications, test prototypes and build the final product.
Testing the product is key before launch to ensure that it meets user needs and functions as intended. After launching the final product, post-launch activities such as monitoring performance and gathering feedback can help it be tailored to the needs of the development and the organization and should be flexible enough to adapt to changing requirements and unforeseen obstacles.
Developing products for startups
Startups typically have fewer resources and a more limited budget, so they must be more strategic in allocating their resources. They also have to be more agile and able to pivot as they test and validate their business model. Startups often rely on a small team, meaning team members may need to wear multiple hats and take in a broader range of responsibilities. Startups have a more entrepreneurial and risk-taking culture, which is why they run on bigger ambitions than just remaining in the present. That’s why they focus on growth and are willing to invest more in product development to achieve that.
MVP and market research
Creating an MVP starts with a development plan for a prototype that validates the direction by outlining the steps required to build and launch the MVP, including timelines and milestones toward better usability and design for the product. Iterate and improve the MVP by gathering customer feedback, iterating, and improving it. Monitor the performance of the MVP and make decisions for the next phase. If there’s one place to be flexible and open to change, it’s in the MVP development process. It is iterative, and the final product may differ from the original concept. Following these steps, you can create an MVP that effectively solves customer problems and sets the foundation for future development and growth.
Prioritize features to plan
The only way to identify key features is by understanding what creates value for customers. Prioritize features based on their potential impact on the business, customer satisfaction, and feasibility, considering the available resources, budget, and technical constraints. At the next level, prioritize based on system dependencies and based on risk, ensuring that critical features rely on other features first based on risk, developing the least risky features first. At the last point, schedule and plan features based on the time to market, focusing on features that can be developed and launched quickly.
MobileSalesPerson- Creating scalable solutions
The sales job almost always involves going to different locations and pitching the company’s offerings to clients. The salespeople faced a visibility gap in updating each sale through the ERP interface, and needing to know how much to sell for severely impacted their sales pitches, leading to overselling or underselling. The visibility of the quantity at the warehouse and how fast you can get it to your customers solve the confusion at the enterprise and the sale level. CI’s vision identified, ideated, and created a feature that added that dynamic element to the ERP software. With the mobile salesperson, CI became a pioneer in creating solutions for the user through the mobile ordering system that updates sales taking place as they happen.
Scoping for the future with CI Global
At CI Global, we’re building MVPs that begin the journey of ideas toward action and to the market. With discussions and the future roadmaps set in motion, the products we create are becoming viable for pivots and building for the demand for which it’s constructed.
Build your dream products with the MVP solely on us; connect with us here to know more.