The product development cycle refers to the entire process it takes to get a product on the market — from the development of a great idea, to launching the product and putting it on store shelves.

Product Development Cycle Guide

Essentially, the development cycle has two distinct phases known as invention and implementation, with each phase housing several sub-phases.

Here’s a basic guide to the product development cycle broken down by each important phase.


The invention phase typically refers to the phase during which you develop an idea for a product, to the creation of a prototype.

Idea: The first major step in product development is to come up with a great idea that can be turned into a product.

Creation: Once an idea has been developed, and its feasibility and viability have both been evaluated, it may be time to move into the creation stage. This will typically entail the creation of a minimum viable product. Once a prototype has been created, it must be tested and measured.

Test: Once a prototype has been developed, it must be tested. Testing allows you to see how consumers interact with the product, what problems might arise, and what features should be added, changed, or removed. Keep in mind that feedback is the ultimate goal of the testing process.

Measure: Once you have a product that has been tested, your next phase will be measurement. Here, the results of the test must be measured, and the strengths and weaknesses of the prototype must be rigorously evaluated. Depending on the results of the measurement, the brand should retreat to either the idea or creation stage to come up with a new idea altogether, refine the existing idea, or proceed to the implementation phase.


The implementation stage is all about getting a product to the market. This requires:

Sales and marketing: In order to be successful, you must be able to sell and market your product. Sales and marketing help garner visibility, as well as attract ongoing customer feedback.

Research and development: Just because a product is launched, doesn’t mean that research and development shouldn’t continue. You should always be looking for ways to improve your product and offer upgrades.

Building and design: As new ideas are discovered and designed, they must be built into the product. Remember, new features and advancements are vital to success.

Maintenance and management: Last but not least, you must have the infrastructure in place to properly maintain and manage your product. If something goes wrong, your customers will expect you to fix it!

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.