There is no doubt that project management has become an extremely popular aspect of work. In fact, a company cannot achieve success without it. That is why one of the most wanted employees are project managers. And, of course, they are important, but we shouldn’t forget about other people responsible for effective project or product deliver who contribute to a company’s growth. Among such people are product planners responsible for product planning.
What Is Product Planning?
Without people who are behind product planning, its delivery would be almost impossible. Or the product wouldn’t be its best version. So what is product planning and why is it so important?
As the name suggests, product planning is simply creating a product based on a particular plan. However, it is not a simple task which can be performed in just one day. It is often a long process during which it is important to take into consideration many factors, such as target demographics, financial aspects of the product preparation, deadline, etc. Basically, all the market requirements that can be influential to product’s reception.
Thus, product planning is an elaborate process which requires a lot of attention of a person who has specific skills and mindset. It cannot be perceived as a one-time activity as it has to be monitored throughout all the product’s stages.
Phases of Product Planning
Since product planning is demanding, it can be divided into 5 phases:
Developing the product concept. The first step is always the most difficult. In the case of product planning, you should know what exactly you want to create. Once you have the basic concept developed, the rest will be easy. However, most of all you should ask yourself the question: Why do I want to do it? If you are not able to answer this questions, you should not bother with planning the product.
Studying the market. This step is necessary to find out what the market looks like, what are the customers’ needs but also how are competitors doing. This step can help in obtaining much useful information.
Market research. This step is concerned with methods and practices which can be used while product’s development. It’s best to study all of the possibilities to see which one will be the best for the product.
Product introduction. If all the research, analysis, data collection, and examinations are positive, it’s time to introduce the product. If the product is received well, you can keep working on it or even expand it further.
Product lifecycle. This step is made of 4 stages: introduction stage, growth stage, maturity stage, decline stage. These stages help to monitor product’s “life” and make it easier to implement any changes.
Product planning is an inseparable part of every product’s implementation. It allows for safe product development as it helps to measure possible threats and risks. Even as a project manager, you can use the assumptions of product planning in your work and experiment with them in order to achieve best practices. Then, you can implement them and boost your project’s (or product) outcomes.