Product Development Consulting: How Can It Help Your Business?

People in office discussing application development, UX/UI

Technology is constantly evolving, opening new possibilities every day. In order to successfully seize the opportunity to break new ground, you need to leverage best-in-class development, future-focused strategic thinking, and just-right technologies.

When you look to bring your big ideas to life, turning to a skilled consultant can help.

The expertise of a digital product development consultant can support you in every stage of planning, design, development, and testing, ensuring you deliver a product that delights users and stands out amongst the competition.

Everything you need to know about Digital Product Development consultants:

  1. What is Digital Product Development?
  2. What Is the Digital Product Development Process?
  3. What Does a Product Development Consultant Do?
  4. Responsibilities & Services of Product Development Consultants
  5. 6 Ways Product Development Consultants Can Help Your Business
  6. When Should You Hire a Product Development Consultant?
  7. Types of Projects Product Development Consultants Work On, With Examples

What is Digital Product Development?

Digital Product Development is the process of taking an idea that can provide benefit or value to individuals through a digital experience, understanding and defining how that idea can manifest as a tool or application, and then applying an iterative process to build, release, and improve the tool or application.

What Is the Digital Product Development Process?

The digital product development process includes the following steps:

  1. It begins with a series of research exercises by which a company can define and refine its idea.
  2. Next, we engage in human-centered design processes, through which we derive our targeted user base.
  3. Based on desired product functionality and the unique characteristics of the users, we undertake a series of design exercises, moving through low-fidelity screen designs through high-fidelity prototypes and engaging users for feedback with each iteration.
  4. With validated designs in hand, the process culminates with software development that will yield the digital product, along with the necessary infrastructure, related systems, and organizational change necessary to support the digital product in production.

Digital product development is rarely a once-and-done activity. It’s most advantageous to iterate the process, refining and introducing product improvements across the lifetime of the product.

What Does a Product Development Consultant Do?

A digital product development consultant will interview and workshop with clients to identify the root causes of pain points. They use their knowledge of market trends and customer sentiment to identify unrealized opportunities for new product ideas.

Additionally, a product development consultant will interview intended product users to develop a deep understanding of their needs and the context in which they’ll engage a product. The consultant will then design, prototype, and validate product features through a variety of usability test methods.

They will provide architectural direction and design for infrastructure and processes necessary to support new product features.

The digital product development consultant will leverage all the above information to strategically build a product roadmap that will minimize time to market for first and subsequent releases while maximizing sticky adoption for each release.

Responsibilities & Services of Product Development Consultants:

  • Inquisitive and can reflect on past symptoms to identify root causes
  • Strong facilitation skills
  • Commitment to human-centered design
  • Strong user research skills
  • Strong commitment to lean development methodologies
  • Strategic thinker who can evaluate and articulate the value proposition of product ideas
  • Understands the complexities of application infrastructure and development, is well versed in modern technology stacks
  • Analytical, can interpret product performance through various sources of data and apply that to the ongoing refinement of product roadmaps

6 Ways Product Development Consultants Can Help Your Business

  1. Helping you understand the unique traits, contexts, and needs of your customers
  2. Identifying and filling gaps in your understanding of how you serve your users or customers
  3. Pinpointing the unique value proposition you can offer
  4. Minimizing your time to market by identifying an essential product definition that will maximize impact and stickiness while minimizing up-front investment
  5. Creating a product roadmap comprised of recurring product releases that each add meaningful value for your users
  6. Engaging both your business and engineering teams to bridge the gap between the “why” and “what” with the “how” of software development

When Should You Hire a Product Development Consultant?

It’s beneficial to hire a consultant when you don’t understand the needs of your users or when you’re experiencing decreased engagement or attrition of your users.

A digital product development consultant can also support you when you lack a vision for how you to mature your product and your user engagement. Their skill set can prove valuable when you believe you do understand your users’ pain points, but fail to envision the new technology to address them.

Types of Projects Product Development Consultants Work On, With Examples

The types of projects that product development consultants are tasked with are incredibly varied. As one example of these projects, let’s take a look at one of AIM Consulting’s previous experiences. For a more detailed look, see our Digital Product Development case study.

Example of Digital Product Development Consulting Project:

A B2B company had expanded its digital offerings over a few years, resulting in user experience issues for its users. Customers complained that the navigation and online experience were no longer user-friendly or efficient, as they were required to log into multiple sites in order to access the applications, products, and services. 

The company sought AIM’s help to improve customer satisfaction and experience by consolidating its offerings into an integrated solution, accessible through a singular, secure customer portal.

AIM’s experts in product development, business analysis, and UX design guided the company on the proper steps to building a product backlog. They also executed the digital design from concept to final compositions, all while providing Agile coaching to the organization and preparing the client team for the successful delivery of future projects.

The consultants empowered the client with all of the knowledge, skills, and best practices to produce the portal it needed to satisfy its customers. As a result of the new processes and skills, the brand was able to design products that led to higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.

Need Help Building Innovative Digital Products?

AIM’s unique combination of digital strategy, software development, analytic capability and design expertise enables your company to tap into a distinctive set of capabilities that will deliver a strong digital product, not just another app.

Contact us today or learn more about our digital product development expertise.