Bringing a medical product to the market is often a drawn-out process that takes several years in some cases for more than 5 years. This process needs a good assessment of the needs to be met to bring the product to the market successfully. The product development cycle applies to most tangible products.
Broadly, this cycle has the following stages:
Data evaluation – This is where you assess the problem that the product is solving and if the idea is viable
Technical and market assessment – This is coming up with features that the product needs to solve the market needs
Product design and prototype – This involves coming up with alternative designs and features to get a working model
Product testing – This is testing the product in a small sample of the market to see if it works
Product launch – The product is released to the general public
The product development phase is resource-intensive in terms of human resources as well as monetary resources. Most innovations are brilliant but are not actualized because the product development phase fails.
A successful product development phase requires a project management approach. This enables you to solve the problems that face innovators in the development phase;
Timelines - This is an estimate of the time required to develop the product up to launching it in the market. Estimating this time is easier when different activity components are charted out and the bottlenecks that are likely to come up are mapped out. Project management tools like flow charts and Gantt charts are very good in project time management.
Funding - A project management plan goes hand in hand with a business plan. This is because the resources identified in the project plan have to be funded. A comprehensive short term and long-term budget are mandatory for successful completion of the product development phase.
A budget helps identify different sources of funding. Will you bring in a strategic investor like an angel investor, borrow from a bank or sell some of the business assets to come up with the cash?
Proof of Concept
This is what all investors want to see in a product. Does it work as intended and advertised? Generally, the product development phase is considered successful when there is a successful prototype.
Mapping out the needs for your product is the most important thing after the idea itself. It helps you chart out what needs to be done, how, when, by who, and the cost of doing it.
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