When it comes to product development, it’s good to shoot for the stars and be ambitious. Ideas are immense fun on paper; execution, however, is another story altogether. The viability of ideas surfaces only when we try to build on them. Without proper expectations, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important and over-exhaust your budget. So, how to strike the right balance and build great products, within your budget without compromising quality?
Planning is crucial
There’s a common mistake that people make while planning a product. They opt for outcome-based planning and not process-based. It doesn’t matter if you know everything at the outset, what matters is how you manage the risks.
Planning instead should be about:
- Making assumptions about the reality of the product
- How the production is going to work
- What are the expected results?
What typical planning includes:
- Goals – Goals outline what you want your product to deliver. It could be increased sales, recognition, building a community, or providing a service. They help you determine your offerings – an app or a website, essential functionalities, and what channels will be the most suitable for the distribution of the product. They also assist in aligning the small tasks with the bigger picture.
- Target group – Identifying and understanding your customers is the most crucial thing to get right. You can start by filtering your customer base with age, place, lifestyle, and needs. Focusing on a group will help you separate must-have features from the ones that are only for show.
- Timeline – Developing and testing are just a part of the development cycle. You must also account for internal approvals and marketing activities early on while creating a timeline. The number of stakeholders involved and time taken for feedback can significantly affect the time to deploy. Setting an accurate and realistic schedule will have a direct impact on productivity.
- Budget – Needless to say, budget determines the direction and speed of product development. A well-defined budget will help you choose the right solutions and leverage the money at hand efficiently.
- Solution – Deciding on the technologies is just as crucial as determining the budget. It’s always a good idea to consult specialists to choose the right set of technologies for your product. Utilize the discovery phase call with the specialists to pin down technologies best suited for your goals. Then use that information to build a detailed plan of product implementation.
Simplicity over complexity
‘Keeping it simple’ is not only good for product transparency but it also aids in budget management. Unnecessary complexity is the foe for your product.
Making the calls on essential features and cutting down on the ones you don’t need is the most effective money-saving advice in product development. While it’s easy to go down the path of excessive development for more features, it costs money. And not to forget, that today’s modular technologies allow us to easily add features in subsequent stages when the demand arises. Try taking the MVP route.
Bad choices are costly
Good products come at a price but cheaper alternatives cost more. A poor product leaves a bad taste on users, needs numerous refactors, and has serious vulnerabilities that require frequent patches. This eventually results in a far costlier, but inferior product.
By principle, Agile is doing the same amount of work but in short and iterative cycles that aids in tiny achievable goals with fewer delays and faster feedback implementation. Agile teams leverage instantaneous channels for communication to reduce the need for reworks because real-time communication facilitates active participation in the process and immediate reaction to potential errors.
When you’re working on a complex project, outsourcing is one way to ensure that you have access to a large talent pool based on your project requirements. With outsourcing, you can choose between flexible engagement models and opt for the one which suits your budget and project requirements. You would know what to expect and ensure timely deliveries.
You can also hire resources in-house but this may not be the most cost-effective option. By outsourcing, you’re paying for the expertise that you need for a specific time. It is your instant and efficient access to the manpower that can often save significant time and money.
Saving money on product development can be as easy as avoiding a few mistakes. We recommend that you use a sensible mixture of the above tips and save a substantial amount while maintaining the product quality.