Resource Index > Organizational Resources > Product Development Processes

Product Development Processes

Product development processes are tightly coupled to those of project management. The resources collected on this page help explain the fundamentals of a product development process, and how good processes can actually be faster and cheaper than ad hoc development. In addition to this collection, you may want to review our Know-How on Implementing Project Management, and our templates for hardware development projects organized by phase.

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Examples of Product Development Processes
These resources provide examples of product development process, or portions of those processes, so you can see how other organizations have handled it.

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  • User Documentation Plan
    A checklist for planning the creation of the user and support documentation for a product. Examples of this documentation include user and service manuals, labeling text, box inserts, training manuals, etc.
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  • Software Release Lifecycle Collection
    The Software Release Life Cycle Overview describes a Software Release Life Cycle (SRLC) targeted for software-heavy development environments, either pure software development or product development with a large software contribution.
  • Development Project Plan
    An outline for a Development Plan document that summarizes the project goals and the major activities across the different functional groups necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Development Process Quick Reference - Excerpt
    This excerpt from a company's "Development Quick Reference" shows a format and content examples for helping your team use your project management or product development process.
  • New Product Business Plan
    A template for a Product/Project Business Plan that describes a new project for inclusion in the corporate portfolio of projects.
Guidelines and Suggestions for Product Development Processes
How formal does a product development process have to be? Does it have to be written down to be effective? These resources will help you answer basic questions about how to develop and use a good process for your product development efforts.

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  • Input Requested
    Different trains of thought on hiring Software Development Project Managers, the "business track" and the "technical track."
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  • QA and Beta Test Manager Job Descriptions
    Job descriptions for QA Manager and Beta Test Program Manager which show the true breadth of these roles when done right.
  • Product Definition - Critical Success Factors
    A checklist of critical success factors for defining a product, and a worksheet for assessing the current state of your project's information.
  • Product Manager Roles and Responsibilities in the Development Life Cycle
    One-page table created by a company as part of their project life cycle, documenting the Marketing Project Manager role in a way that lends itself to quick reference during a project and detailed understanding of their responsibilities to drive, contribute to, and review key project deliverables within the "big picture" of the life cycle.
  • Creating a Manufacturing Plan for New Product
    Manufacturing Plan with early insight and tracking in mind. Allows Operations and Manufacturing to do adequate preparation for people, capital, facilities and other resources while giving visibility to early back and forth tradeoffs with Development.
  • Checklist for Manufacturing Release Readiness
    To be sure your product is really ready to be fully released into manufacturing, consider the items in this checklist from a company's product development process guideline. It asks key readiness questions in areas covering everything from product functionality to reliability, component sourcing to manufacturing yield.
Typical Product Development Issues and Answers to Common Questions
There's more to product development than getting the prototype to manufacturing. These resources will help you consider extended influences on the product, like maintenance and support requirements, discontinuance planning, and localization. We've also included resources to explain alternative development approaches.

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  • Spiral/Iterative Project Phase Approach
    An example from an actual project of how to use an iterative, or spiral, development model along with time-boxing, to plan and execute a project.
  • Localization Guidelines
    Guideline to help project managers and project teams adapt a product built for release within the U.S. or North America to other international marketplaces.
  • Introduction to Software Release Trains
    Release trains provide an alternative release schedule for organizations that need more predictable, efficient release management. This guideline includes key requirements and suggestions for successfully implementing release trains, along with observations and indicators to help you decide if release trains are right for your organization.



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