Difference Between Product Development and Re-Engineering

Product development and re-engineering are two important concepts in the fields of business and innovation. They involve distinct approaches and strategies to improve existing products or create new ones. Understanding the difference between product development and re-engineering is crucial for businesses seeking to enhance their competitiveness in the market.

According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, around 75% of companies consider innovation and product development as their top priority for growth. The global spending on research and development (R&D) reached a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in 2020, indicating the emphasis placed on product development worldwide. A study conducted by the Standish Group revealed that around 70% of IT projects involve some form of re-engineering, highlighting its importance in the technology sector.

In this article, we dive deep into the difference between product development and re-engineering, what stages each process includes, and when product development or engineering can benefit your business. Let’s start by understanding exactly what product development means!

What is Product Development?

Developing a new product from scratch is a complex process that demands research and an understanding of the product’s users. The product development process starts with conducting user research and getting to know the user’s requirements. Accordingly, a prototype is created and further validated with the clients and the user to ensure all the aspects are included according to the requirement. The process has different aspects, such as design, development, coding, and deployment, demanding a pool of resources and time. 

The team requires much effort as they start the process from scratch. Developing and innovating a new product can benefit a business and give it a competitive advantage, attracting several consumers. Businesses can ensure high-quality products, leading to brand loyalty and market demands.


The 6 Stages of the Product Development Process

Product development is a crucial process involving a series of stages that companies must follow to bring a new product to market successfully. Each stage has its own unique challenges and goals, and a misstep at any point can lead to costly mistakes. Here are the typical stages of product development:

Stages of product development
  1. Idea Generation:
    Product development begins with an idea. We begin exploring opportunities that align with the user’s needs and the market. Idea generation is considered to be the foundation of product development. It directs the development process and ensures the process has started on the right foot. 
  2. Concept Development:
    After the idea generation, it’s time to bring “the idea” to life. The product managers begin with preliminary designs defining the users’ key features and value propositions. Concept development is all about developing a blueprint to bring the idea of a product into reality with clear expectations for all stakeholders.  
  3. Feasibility Analysis:
    The team should assess the feasibility and technical aspects of the product. The team must carefully determine the necessary resources and timelines to make the product successful. The evaluation results in a relevant decision for the product. 
  4. Design and Development:
    The designing stage starts with creating prototypes that can be tested and validated with the users and generate feedback. Once the prototypes are finalized, they are taken to the development stage. The prototypes include developing specifications, testing materials, and a production plan. 
  5. Testing and Validation:
    In this stage, the product is tested to meet customer needs and expectations. The testing process includes focus groups and targeted markets. The test feedback can help improve the product or its features early. 
  6. Launch:
    Once the product has been tested and validated, it is ready to launch. The deployment is an important stage, including a marketing strategy to distribute the product to the ultimate users. The ultimate goal is to create awareness amongst the target users and gather early feedback to make any improvements if required. 

What is Re-engineering?

Re-engineering is reimagining an existing product to make it perform seamlessly and have higher quality and value. Re-engineering is all about modernizing and evaluating areas that require improvements to make them effective and cost-efficient. The team starts re-engineering to create better outcomes from the already developed product. 

The re-engineering process can help a business reduce redundant processes and streamline workloads by restructuring operations and eliminating any chances of errors. However, with such efficiency, businesses can grasp market conditions and technological advancements, enabling a competitive advantage. Businesses can enable a more flexible and scalable approach to improve efficiency and respond to changes in the market

The 6 Phases of Product Re-engineering Process

Reengineering is critical for companies that want to improve their operations, eliminate inefficiencies, and reduce costs. Here are the typical stages of reengineering:
stages of reengineering

  1. Identify Areas of Improvement:
    The re-engineering process starts with identifying the opportunities for improvement and analyzing the existing product’s processes and inefficiencies. It involves analyzing all the products and identifying the issues hindering their performance. 
  2. Analyze:
    Once the area of improvement is identified, the next step is the evaluation of the product in detail. The team develops strategies and creates a process to analyze each step. The process identifies inefficiencies, redundancies, and other issues hampering the product’s performance.
  3. Redesign:
    In this stage, the plan is to redesign the processes to modernize the product according to the evaluation. The process starts by developing new processes, redesigning workflows, and creating new procedures.
  4. Implement:
    After developing and strategizing new processes, the next important stage is to implement those effectively. The implementation process can start with training the employees or utilizing new technologies. The ultimate goal is to integrate the new process into the existing operations ensuring they run smoothly. 
  5. Monitor the Developed Products:
    The next stage lies in monitoring the developments and the implemented process. The project manager monitors performance, quality, and user experience metrics. Any potential issues or bugs are evaluated to make the improvements further.  
  6. Continuous Improvement:
    Continuous improvement is essential for every re-engineering project. The team tracks the metrics and performance of the product to evaluate any defect after making the improvements. Continuous improvements help the product perform seamlessly and ultimately provide value and a greater user experience. 

Difference between Product Re-engineering and Product Development

Both product development and re-engineering pose different goals and purposes for the product’s performance. Product development involves developing a new product from scratch. Re-engineering is to re-image or restructure the existing product to result in a better outcome for the product. Another key difference is the level of investment required. Product development requires a significant investment in research and development. In contrast, reengineering requires a smaller investment as it builds upon an existing product or process.

product development vs product reengineering

When should Product Development and Re-engineering be employed?

Regarding product development or re-engineering, each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. The product development strategy is implemented to develop new offerings for the business and satisfy the demands of users and the market. Product development involves continuous innovation and the adoption of changes that are required to make the product successful.

A re-engineering process is implemented by the business to enhance the existing product or process, which leads to efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The process involves identifying the inefficiencies that can hamper the product’s performance and increasing the outcome for the user’s satisfaction. Making significant changes and staying competitive are important elements of product re-engineering.

While deciding whether to implement product development or re-engineering, it’s crucial to consider a few factors that can affect your decision. The factors include the available resources, goals, and strategies of the businesses. For example, product development can be a suitable solution if you’re looking to introduce a new product or extend your offerings to the user. But on the other hand, if the focus is on improving the product to enhance the performance of the offering, re-engineering is efficient for you. 



Making Informed Decisions: Choosing the Right Approach for Your Business

Engaging in product development and reengineering is crucial for businesses aiming to remain competitive in the market. Whether it involves innovating a new product or enhancing an existing one, companies must possess the ability to be flexible and adjust to variations in consumer preferences and market patterns.

Investment and research are required to create a successful product or process. This leads to a better offering for customers. Mindbowser is an excellent partner for innovative businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition regarding end-to-end services for product development and reengineering. We have a team of experienced professionals who can help businesses with ideation, research, design, testing, and launching new products. We can also help businesses with reengineering by analyzing existing products, identifying inefficiencies, and proposing improvement solutions.

Looking to develop a new product from scratch or improve an existing one? Contact Mindbowser today to discuss your options for product development or reengineering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between product development and reengineering?

Product development refers to creating new products or features from scratch, while reengineering involves improving existing products or processes.

How does product development contribute to innovation and market growth?

Product development drives innovation by introducing new and improved products to the market, which can attract customers, increase sales, and fuel market growth.

When should a company consider reengineering its existing products or processes?

Companies should consider reengineering when their existing products or processes become outdated, inefficient, or fail to meet customer needs and require significant improvements.

What are the key steps involved in the product development process?

The key steps in the product development process typically include idea generation, market research, concept development, prototyping, testing, refinement, production, and launch.

How can reengineering help improve efficiency and competitiveness in a rapidly changing market?

Reengineering allows companies to streamline processes, eliminate redundancies, adopt new technologies, and respond to market demands quickly, resulting in increased efficiency and improved competitiveness in a rapidly changing market.

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