Skip to main content Skip to footer
Product development life cycle

Product development: 7 stages to turn ideas into a product

Alicia Schneider 12 min read
Try monday dev

Building a product from scratch takes more than just a good idea. That idea needs to go through testing, a prototype, market research, and likely several iterations before it’s ready to hit the market.

Product development is a process that brings ideas to life. Whether it’s a physical product, like a car or a new gadget, or digital ones, like software or apps. Every product should go through the stages of product development to ensure a successful launch.

In this blog post, we’ll review some of the core components of product development, including its different stages, some examples of what the process looks like, and how platforms like monday dev can make all the difference when building a new product.

Try monday dev

What is product development?

Product development is the entire process of building a product, whether physical or digital like software, from an idea to its launch. There are several stages to this process, including creative ones like ideating and brainstorming as well as testing, prototyping, building, and more.

The process of product development can be used to build an entirely new product from scratch or to enhance an existing product by looking at ways it can be rebuilt and improved. The process of creating a brand-new item is called new product development (NPD). Unlike relaunching and rebuilding a product that’s already successful, with NPD, there’s no guarantee that a new product that’s being built will generate revenue on the market, making it an ongoing process that still involves a lot of testing and analysis.

product plan in monday dev

What makes product development important for businesses?

The process of planning a new product launch can make all the difference when it comes to the success of market adoption. Indeed, planning and conducting deep research into your target audience and consumer demand can help you ensure a new or relaunched product will stick.

The purpose of the product development life cycle is to encourage teams to follow each stage for optimal results. Let’s look at a few key reasons why the product development process is so important for businesses.

  • Aligns teams: The product development process ensures your team is aligned from the start, allowing each team member to proceed with their part of the development
  • Reduces risk: Creating a plan for a NPD involves market research and target audience analysis, meaning the risk of a new product not succeeding is reduced
  • Checkpoints: Each stage of the process requires team members to check in to ensure the development is on track
  • Cuts down on waste: Teams who follow a product development plan can cut down on wasted time and budget by intentionally allocating resources
  • Quicker time to market: Planning your development process from the get-go reduces time wasted on unforeseen roadblocks, getting your product on the market sooner

7 stages of the product development process

The product development process may look slightly different for each team, especially depending on the product being developed. A physical item like a beauty product wouldn’t follow the same plan as a company building a software product, so the stages can be tailored to each team’s individual needs. In general, these are the seven stages of a product development process.

1. Ideation

Creative thinking and brainstorming come together to create a pool of ideas. This is the stage where innovation is key, and teams are tasked with collecting and reviewing various ideas. More than that, ideas should be considered against your target audience and the market needs to see which one is strongest. While many ideas flow freely, it’s important to keep track of different ones in a development tool, like monday dev, so that later on a team can review each one and decide on the best product idea to move forward with.

Try monday dev

2. Market research

In the market research stage, it’s important to look at a few different factors that could influence a successful product launch. You should consider things like:

  • Your target audience and buyer persona
  • An analysis of the market trends and demands
  • Research on competitor offerings
  • Surveys, interviews, and data gathering on consumer preferences

This is the time to gather as much quality feedback as possible from your intended audience. The information you gather in this phase of product development will help you predict the demand for your product as well as how competitive it might be in the current market.

3. Planning product strategy

roadmap dashboard monday dev

Once you’ve collected a good amount of relevant insights, it’s time to start building your product plan. If you’re creating a physical product, this is where the detailed sketching should begin. For non-physical items like software, it’s more helpful to create a product roadmap to better track and define different milestones in building your product. Along with your plan, you can also add in product strategy to serve as a guide for future development stages. This will help you ensure your approach is focused and purposeful.

4. Prototyping

In this stage, you take your ideas, feedback, and sketches or roadmap and start bringing them to life. Depending on what you’re creating, you can build a physical model, a digital representation, or even a scaled-down version that helps stakeholders or potential customers visualize the final product and its functionality.

It’s in this stage, too, that you’ll look at some essential factors, like how feasible your new product is, and the risk involved with producing it. You may need to go through several prototype iterations, but you should arrive at a final version that acts as your minimum viable product (MVP). In other words, this is the version of a product that if it needed to be launched today without any further additions, could still function on a basic level. Studies show that 62% of companies that focus on building an MVP are more likely to succeed.

5. Build

sprint product development planning

After testing the prototype and all its iterations, it’s time to finally build your product. This stage involves implementing the feedback gathered in all the previous stages, including testing the prototype. Taking your MVP, you’ll start to build around it to include additional features and functionality. In a physical product, you’ll need to source materials and connect with vendors. For something digital, this is the time to create timeline estimations, plan sprints, and choose a project management methodology, such as Agile, to help prioritize tasks.

6. Launch

While it seems like all the previous stages were working up to launch, it’s not an event that should be done quickly. Launching a product requires a lot of planning as well, including enough testing that the product is ready for market and all designs are finalized. After that, you also need to implement new marketing strategies, put together training if the product requires it, and create resources for helping consumers use your product, among other things. Whether a physical product or software, you also need to prepare your website to support the launch.

7. Analyze

The product development lifecycle is just that – a cycle. That means that the process isn’t over when your product hits the market. Once live, it’s important to start analyzing your NPD’s performance over time. You can look at metrics like sales, customer feedback, or market share to assess success and gather valuable information for future products or relaunches.

Real-world product development examples

Going through the stages of product development doesn’t guarantee a successful product launch. Not all products will be successful, but for many of the ones that are, the product development process plays a crucial role in creating and then growing a product. Here’s a look at a few examples of successful product development cases from well-known brands.


While the brand today has become a household name for a place to stream movies and TV series, Netflix didn’t start that way. The brand’s initial offering was a DVD rental platform, filling a gap in the market for an affordable and convenient way to rent movies. As technology progressed, Netflix evolved to match market trends and moved from a mail-in DVD service to a streaming platform.

What makes the brand so successful is that Netflix’s product strategy is to constantly look at how to add value to users. First, transitioning from DVD rentals to a streaming service, and then further bolstering its platform with exclusive content and tailored recommendations. Each iteration of Netflix’s platform went through a product development cycle that determined the current market needs and tested different additions. Each development cycle requires significant planning, and a development platform to track tasks, due dates, bugs, and ongoing feedback would have been essential to Netflix’s success.


Most of us are familiar with the cloud-based video conferencing platform, Zoom. It enables people to conduct calls and meetings at any time and from any location, and has become synonymous with video conferencing. Like Netflix, Zoom’s product strategy is to look at customers’ needs and make decisions based on that.

Zoom’s team gathers customer feedback, looks at market trends and demands, and makes updates to its product based on those. Not only that, but Zoom can adapt quickly to changing conditions, as we saw in 2020 when the brand partnered with Oracle Cloud to strengthen security, privacy, and its software infrastructure. Tasks like this require a platform to keep everything streamlined, such as feedback, customer information, and platform development tasks.

A smoother product development process with monday dev

There are many tools that go into developing a new product. From software for prototyping, all kinds of communication tools, and online folders to keep ideas and documents organized, it can get tricky to keep track of everything. That’s why a platform like monday dev can help keep all your ideas, files, sprints, tasks, and communications organized in one place, particularly when it comes to SaaS products.

monday dev helps teams develop new products and improve existing ones with tons of collaboration features. Team members can create boards to add ideas, share comments on each one, assign tasks when it’s time to plan a strategy or build the product, and collect insights from users and customers all in one place. Here are a few ways monday dev helps teams ease the development process:

Product development templates


roadmap product development

monday dev is equipped with a product development template to help you hit the ground running. The template offers a clear board where you can track sprints, prioritize tasks, map out your product vision, and track bugs or roadblocks to be resolved.

Hundreds of integrations

monday dev integrations

Building a new product, or updating an existing one, uses a lot of apps. If you’re sending out surveys for feedback or building a landing page for your new product, monday dev connects with over 200 of the most-used apps to make it simple to keep all your most important data in one place. monday dev integrates with apps like Slack, Dropbox, SurveyMonkey, Zoom, Shopify, and most Google and Microsoft tools.

Multiple work views and timelines

gantt chart with milestones

With monday dev, you can choose how you want to see your work. You can opt to see your product progress on a Gantt chart, on a Kanban board, on a calendar, in a timeline, and more. With 27+ different work views to choose from, you can keep track of every task, idea, and update exactly how you want.

Try monday dev

Better products with monday dev

The product development process can be lengthy, so ensuring each stage is carefully thought out and that nothing falls through the cracks is important. monday dev helps teams plan each stage, strategize, and collaborate on ideas while keeping all aspects of product development in one place. With monday dev, you can focus your efforts on building the best product possible while ensuring tasks are moving and automated in the background.


An example of product development is Apple’s iPhones. Each new model represents a product development cycle as the brand enhances features, design, and functionality to meet consumer demands and remain competitive.

There are four different types of product development, each with a different focus, and they are: new product launches, improving an existing product, extending a product line, and products that are entirely new to the market.

Product development focuses on creating and improving products, from starting with an idea all the way through launch. With product management, on the other hand, a product manager focuses on the strategic aspects of a product lifecycle, such as looking at business goals, feasibility, and user experience to continuously offer val

Alicia is a digital marketing and tech freelance writer with a passion for turning complex jargon into engaging content that everyone can understand.
Get started