How a Product is Developed
The development cycle of a product generally starts only after the company has decided what product to build and which segment to target. In simple words, the what and why of the product coming into the picture has already been answered and it is time to look into how it is being done. *
Product Development is generally headed by one person, the Product Head, who has the power to play God and runs a whole team to analyze and decide what has to go into the product. In case of larger organizations where multiple products make up the suite, each product has an owner in addition to the one responsible for the entire product management. Though the team is responsible for the conception and maturity of features, modules, and in few cases the architecture of the product itself, they should not be mistaken for developers. Instead, they are thinkers who act as a bridge between development and GTM functions.
Create a product that can stand the test of time and solve its purpose, and who doesn’t want it? It may seem simple, but there are a lot of steps and iterations involved the architecture, R&D and prototyping to bring out even the MVP. This is followed by development, designing, release management and maintenance and all this is done keeping in mind the goal towards which the product has to travel to, and the feature set envisioned.
These are in detail descriptions of what a product functionality seems to be from the end user’s perspective(you can read more about it here). PMs begin by creating user stories and this helps the people, most importantly the developers, understand the value of the product and prioritization. Things like buyer persona, what can users do and how many clicks are involved (also known as Epic), how many pages should a module consist of etc. come under User Stories.
Similar to how each PM owns a part of the product, the development team also splits the ownership of the product development among each developer in the team. Responsibilities are also split based on back end and front end development types. For example, it might be required that upon a button click, the system should call an API to fetch data and display it next to the button. The logic and execution part of this data fetch is taken care of by the back end team whereas the visual reaction of the product is owned by the front end. Based on user stories, the product and development (both back end and front end) collaborate to form an MVP.
Of course, there is always need and room for further enhancement of the product to keep up with the end user requirement. There is a lot of versioning involved but on a high level, we can say that the enhancements are done based on feedback (from QA and end users) and market innovations while keeping in mind the roadmap and feature set planned out for the product.
*This article is to give the readers a basic understanding of the Product Development cycle from the views of a person who has been in the Product industry all their career. If you find something wrong, feel free to drop in a comment. Suggestions are always welcome!