Understanding the Ideation Stage in Product Development: Key Concepts and Strategies

Markets are always looking forward to advancement and innovations which makes the process of product development of huge importance. Initiating with the step of ideation and ending with the product commercialization, Product development is a six stepped difficult, yet interesting adventure.

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Let’s begin with a simple question; what do you think is the most critical part of product development? You may have a different answer but in our opinion, ideation is the most important and crucial part of the product development process.
By the end of this article, you will surely understand the rationale behind this opinion. So, keep reading!

What is Ideation?

Ideation is the first step of the product development process and serves as the foundation upon which the whole concept or idea of the developing product is based. While the remaining five steps further process this key idea.

Ideation is typically an idea generation phase, in which the whole production team brainstorms effectively and comes up with the main concept or skeleton of their product, by keeping in mind, customers’ demand and the market gap.

3 Steps of Ideation:

Ideation can be integrated into three basic steps:

1. Problem Identification:

The first step of ideation requires to find out the gaps present in the market and pinpoint the areas where there is a need for improvement. This may be done by conducting various surveys.

2. Idea Generation:

Once the problem has been identified, now it is time to think of ways that can effectively help to overcome that gap. This step involves several group discussions to reach some final ideas.
There is no limitation to conclude, only one idea. The production team can shortlist as many ideas as they think can, to address the problem. Brainstorming and mind-mapping techniques contribute a lot to idea generation.

3. Idea Evaluation:

All the ideas which were generated in the previous stage are evaluated in this step. The production team determines the feasibility of each idea and selects only those ideas which are worth pursuing.

Methods to Aid Ideation Stage:

There are several methods that can be useful for the Ideation stage. Some of them include:

1. Brainstorming:

Brainstorming is the most used method in the ideation stage. It is an effective way to come up with new innovative ideas, usually in joint sittings. All the members of the production team are encouraged to think creatively in a collaborative manner. This technique significantly helps them to pave their way toward the desired end product.

2. Mind-mapping:

Mind mapping is yet another potential method to generate new ideas or improve existing ones, with the help of a structured visual summary. This technique is marked with the categorization and sub-categorization of all the data, in a manner that makes it easier to conclude a final, and most feasible idea.

3. SWOT Analysis:

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique, which helps the production team to conclude the best idea by analyzing the product’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Advantages of Ideation:

Ideation is important as it establishes the skeleton for the entire product development process. It ensures that the product corresponds to the needs of the targeted market. It also helps to determine that the developing product is in compliance with the company’s objectives.
Yet another advantage that Ideation offers is the timely recognition of all the obstacles. It significantly aids to save the resources and energy of the product developers. Ideation also enables product developers to explore new ideas, which may result in some game-changing, incredible products.

Let’s pen off the post here, with the hope that our stance of supporting the ideation stage is now clear to you, creativity and innovation ultimately guarantee success!

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