Tools, Skills and Mindset For Successful Product Development

Product development, simply put, is the process of creating a new product or improving an existing one. It’s a complex undertaking that requires a deep understanding of the market, the users, and the technology involved. There are many different approaches to product development, but there are three essential elements that all successful product developers share: the right tools, the right skills, and the right mindset. These elements are the foundation upon which all successful product development is built, and are rooted in agile methodologies. In this article, we’ll explore each of these elements in depth and discuss how they can be used to create successful products.



The first element of successful product development is having the right tools. The right tools can make all the difference in the world when it comes to developing a successful product. There are many different tools available to product developers, but there are a few that are absolutely essential:


1. A project management tool: A project management tool is an absolute necessity for any product development team. It allows developers to track progress, manage tasks, and collaborate with team members. There are a variety of project management tools available, but we recommend “Trello” as it’s simple to use and free for small teams.


2. A wireframing tool: A wireframing tool is used to create mockups of how a product will look and function. This is an important step in the development process as it allows developers to get a better understanding of the user experience and ensure that the product is easy to use. “Balsamiq” Mockups is a popular wireframing tool that can enable developers to quickly create high-quality mockups.


3. A prototyping tool: A prototyping tool is used to create prototypes of how a product will work, which can be used for user testing and feedback. A great tool for prototyping is “InVision”, which allows developers to create clickable prototypes that look and feel like the real deal.



The second element of successful product development is having the right skills. Developing a successful product requires a wide variety of skills, from design and user experience to marketing and project management. While it’s important for product developers to have a well-rounded skill set, there are a few skills that are absolutely essential:


1. Design skills: A great product must have a great design. Product developers must be able to create user-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing designs that  meet the needs of your target market.


2. User experience skills: In order to create products that users will love, product developers need to have a strong understanding of user experience. This includes understanding how users think, feel, and behave when using a product.


3. Marketing skills: Even the best products will fail if they can’t be found by potential customers. Product developers must be able to market their products effectively, reaching the right people with the right message.


4. Project management skills: A product development project is like any other project – it needs to be managed effectively in order to be successful. Product developers must be able to plan and execute product development projects, keeping all the moving parts on track.



Lastly, an agile mindset is essential for product developers. An agile mindset is built around the belief that products are never “finished”, but are instead always evolving. This means that product developers need to be open to change and willing to rapidly adapt their plans based on feedback and new information. Key components of an agile mindset include:


1. User feedback: User feedback should be constantly sought out and integrated into the product development process.


2. Rapid iterations: Product developers should be prepared to rapidly iterate on their plans in response to feedback or new information.


3. Flexibility: An agile mindset requires a certain degree of flexibility, as plans may need to change at a moment’s notice.


4. Communication: Effective communication is essential in an agile environment, as all team members need to be on the same page in order to rapidly respond to changes.


5. Collaboration: Collaboration is key in an agile setting, as all team members need to work together closely in order to execute rapid iterations effectively.

Case Study: How Nike Successfully Develops and Markets New Products


Nike is the world’s largest sports and fitness company, with a logo that is recognizable around the world. Nike is a leader in developing new sports equipment, and they have done so again with their new Nike Free shoes. These shoes are designed to mimic barefoot running, in order to strengthen runners’ feet and legs, while also reducing the risk of injury. Nike has used a combination of innovative design, user testing, and effective marketing to successfully develop and launch the Nike Free shoes.


1. Innovative design: The Nike Free shoes were developed using cutting-edge technology, in order to create a shoe that would provide a realistic barefoot running experience.


2. User testing: Before launching the shoes, Nike conducted extensive user testing in order to ensure that the shoes would meet the needs of their target market.


3. Effective marketing: Nike has used a combination of traditional and digital marketing techniques to successfully launch the Nike Free shoes. Their marketing campaign has included television commercials, online ads, and social media outreach.


After months of research, the shoe, Nike Free, was created. Before being marketed to customers worldwide, Nike Free was given an initial, strictly controlled, limited 12-month release. Ultimately, the key to Nike’s success is their ability to develop products that meet the needs of their target market, and then market those products effectively. Nike’s use of innovative design, user testing, and effective marketing is a blueprint that other product developers can follow.



At Agileseventeen, we believe that every product development team can benefit from an agile mindset. We offer a variety of services, including agile coaching and training, to help teams adopt an agile mindset and improve their product development process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your team succeed: