We are using design thinking methodology for providing the most effective solution for our customers. It is very important to understand that a successful product is a result of a good concept and iterative improvement based on real users feedback. Strict product specs and precise planning are not working. The key is to be flexible and responsive. In most cases, the original idea is completely changing in the short period after product launch. So every product founder should be sensitive for feedback and be ready for making pivots.
Working with startups has few challenges:
- An original idea often is very draft and not validated in details.
- The speed of development is important.
- Limited budget.
Usually, there are three stages for a typical product development process through a project lifetime:
- Dedicated team
Crafting is the first and most creative stage of the product development process. Usually, the initial idea seems genius for its author and often it is not very detailed. And our road to the implementation can be not straight. At crafting stage, we are using the principles of design thinking for getting answers to key questions about future products.
We are analyzing the market niche and competitors, making some conceptual documents and roadmap for product implementation. For that purposes, we are using design sprint and lean approach.
We are moving with small 2 week sprints and trying to craft results with small steps continuously improving the original idea, getting feedback and making pivots if needed.
The average length of the crafting stage is 3 months. During this time a small team of 2-3 senior level cross-functional specialists is building the product by using specially optimized working process reasonably fast deployment of the quality result.
The main goal of the stage is building a product which has a value for its users. We do not sell hours because we sell solutions. We are not spending time on too detailed planning and intermediate deadlines. We believe in the process based on empathy and trust.
Sometimes the project is going to phase where we do not need such a lot of creative work like on the crafting stage. The reasons can be different and depend on different kinds of products.
For example, the product team could accelerate marketing and sales activity and we can use a little bit different working scheme because a big part of the creative job has been done on the previous stage. At this moment we can concentrate on the more routine problems and reacting on the real users' feedback.
During the needs and budget, we can use here a work different people, like software engineers, support engineers, data operators etc. For many clients, it can be cost effective solution because the overall cost of such team usually is less than on crafting stage.
When a product business model is validated the product should be improving constantly. There a lot of work on development, user interface improvement, data moderation, testing etc. In such cases, the product needs its own dedicated team which can be concentrated 100% on it only.
We can build such team for the product and organize all necessary training. Or we can be in the consultant role and help the client to build such a team for the product in-house. In such case, we also help with people interview, training, and set up all necessary working processes.