Test Strategy

9 Challenges of Product Development in a Downturn

9 Challenges of Product Development in a Downturn

Your next product launch may be keeping you up at night. With fewer resources, budget cuts, and lack of personnel, it’s going to be much more challenging to release quality products and avoid costly delays.

Here are nine different obstacles you’ll need to overcome during development to ensure a successful product launch.

1) Barren Wasteland of Resources

After layoffs, a company can be left barren. That doesn't change the fact you need to release awesome products to survive the downturn and save your company. Your company will be looking to do more with less. 

Companies consider user testing necessary, but finding someone to run your project can feel like finding water, food, or shelter in a wasteland. If you find yourself taking on the responsibility of user testing as part of your regular job duties, you may find it time consuming to get good results. Why? It's largely the fault of using various tools to get the job done and minimal processes to follow on how to do it.

2) Terrifying Bridge of Quality Testing

Layoffs and hiring freezes in quality assurance can create gaps in testing and weak points in product quality. Crossing this bridge can be risky, luckily there is a way to overcome this obstacle safely.

Fewer resources mean you risk creating vulnerabilities and gaps because not everything can be tested in the project schedule. What takes priority when there are fewer engineers for testing? Many quality teams will prioritize automated testing to cover more ground with fewer investments – thousands of automated tests can be done with minimal effort required. 

3) Frigid Tundra of Budget Cuts

When budgets are under scrutiny it can leave you shivering for anything you can get your hands on. Getting more out of what you have at your disposal can help you overcome this obstacle.

Justifying purchasing new products to test can be tough, but it’s important to ask yourself: What happens if we launch a product without testing compatibility? Is this going to cause a higher number of returns and support requests? Are customers going to question their loyalty to your brand because of the lack of quality?

4) Treacherous Path of Prioritization

As you navigate the unpredictable dangers of an economic downturn, you’re forced to do more with less. Every decision you make will either positively or negatively affect the success of your product, forcing you to prioritize the most important path first. Allowing prioritization to help you overcome those obstacles will enable you to focus on the right things at the right time.

As you’re going down that path, what happens when layoffs and hiring freezes continue and there becomes less developers within your organization to rely on? How will having less dev resources affect the success of your products and services? With these limitations, prioritization continues to be the priority. 

5) Raging River of Development

Development flows quickly and you’ll need to keep up in order to stay afloat, because it’s not slowing down. Surviving the rapids can be tricky, but utilizing the right tools can bring you to safety.

These obstacles are especially challenging to overcome when you’re caught in the strong current without a floatation device to support you. Even when resources are tight, there is still a strong push to carry out initiatives effectively and efficiently throughout all stages of the product development life cycle. Development speed isn’t slowing down and if you don’t allocate the remaining resources you have appropriately, you are putting yourself and your product quality in danger very quickly.

6) Muddy Bog of Project Delays

More often than not, project delays are serious as they can result in profit loss, decayed resources and damage to your reputation. Luckily there are ways to avoid getting bogged down with delays on your mission to product launch.

The product launch point signifies when an organization starts to make money on the product. Should the product launch date be delayed, the upfront development, marketing, and launch costs continue, thus negatively impacting cash flow and reducing the amount of money the company makes off a product over time. 

If your product launch is delayed, especially if it’s repeatedly delayed or delayed without good reason, this is allowing the opportunity for your competitors to launch their products before you do.

7) Puzzling Labyrinth of Customer Spending

Navigating through the maze of customer spending habits can leave you questioning where you stand in their priority. You're in luck because we broke the code on how to survive this labyrinth.

As financial conditions worsen, consumers and businesses become increasingly conscious about how they spend their money. Customers are more likely to depend on ratings, reviews, and word of mouth from people they trust to help them make a decision on what they spend their money on.

It’s crucial to ensure your product or service leaves a positive impression with your customers in order to keep them coming back. Positive reviews also reassure potential customers that they can trust your brand, product or service. 

8) Eerie Tornado of Customer Churn

It’s critical for businesses to draw customers in and ensure they don’t churn. The competition will be trying to lure your existing customers away, so here’s how you can avoid that threat. 

Among the other challenges that businesses face in the years ahead will be creating and maintaining brand loyalty to ensure you differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s a growing challenge as it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with the demands of the consumer as they constantly evolve. Attracting customers to your product or service is only one piece of the puzzle – the other is figuring out how to retain them. If your products and services don’t meet the expectations of your customers, they will look elsewhere.

9) Relentless Acts of Rival Pirates 

Staying ahead of the competition is an uphill battle and requires constant work. You’ll need to remain aware of key strategies for improving the customer experience and building your competitive advantage, to survive the dangers of your rivals. 

With businesses continuing to experience huge setbacks like headcount reduction and budget cuts, building a product that stands out amongst your competition is even more critical now than ever before. As a result, companies are needing to become more customer-centric and keep quality high to remain competitive and align with the customers’ ever-changing needs and expectations. 

How to Overcome the Obstacles

One day, you may feel like you have it all figured out. Then, in a moment’s notice, you’ve been thrown a curve ball. You’re not alone in these feelings – every organization has to face their own set of challenges. Learning how to overcome the obstacles you’re faced with and having the right tools to support you will help you remain calm under the pressure of your next product launch.

The new Delta Testing: A Survival Guide to Economic Downturn ebook, explains how to overcome each of the obstacles mentioned and equips you with the necessary tools and supplies on your journey to a successful product launch.