How can I Save during Product Development?
Without Paying Dearly for it Later?
There are two ways for you to save development cost without compromising quality and incurring follow-up costs. On the one hand you can simplify the development, i.e. ask for fewer features and functions, on the other hand you can reduce the number of changes and corrections or at least the decision time for what exactly should be changed and how.
How to Simplify Product Development?
Approaches that require simplification of development are in vogue at the moment, e.g. MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Exploring the market with an MVP and then reacting as quickly as possible ("agile") to customer requests is only at first glance contradictory to clear requirements at the beginning of the project. Because each individual product iteration as a separate development project benefits in terms of speed and effort from clear requirements and few changes.
What Leads to Fewer Changes in the Project?
If a clear requirements specification is created at the beginning during an efficient System Design phase, then the changes can be minimized in the course of the project and so the effort. The implementation and change management for the adaptations that are nevertheless necessary can then be carried out iteratively. If, on the other hand, a purely agile approach is chosen, then not very many decisions are needed at the start of the project, but the effort for the adjustments of the technical solution is larger.
How Rigid is the Requirements Specification?
The requirements specification forms the basis for the development and the "single point of truth" for the goals to be achieved. However, it is not a corset that may not be touched.
Over the duration of development of a product, change requests always appear: from the market, from the development itself and from other stakeholders. As long as these do not go beyond the scope of the project, they should definitely be incorporated into the requirements specification, i.e. the requirements are adapted.
What is the Role of Product Management?
Both simplification of requirements and minimization of changes are related to a decisive product management, which takes full responsibility for the development budget. I.e. it needs a product management that has a clear idea of the requirements of the users and decision makers and which is also ready to delete features with a poor benefit-effort ratio.
Clear requirements and constraints, few changes, short decision time for changes: this is a short list, which also seems easy to implement... In practice, however, the decisions and tasks are quite extensive. For efficient product development, therefore, the product management role requires not too scarce technical and leadership competence, sufficient decision-making margin and enough allocated time for the project.