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Collaborative product development aims to involve customers—as well as employees and industry partners—in the product creation process and beyond.
Your customers are the market, so having a customer-centric strategy is an obvious choice. The best way to have your customers involved in product development is by having them come up with the products. It means a much briefer market validation period because the solutions originate from your core customer stakeholders.
You can do this by sending a one-off survey via email or running a poll on social media to find out what people would like to see developed next. But there are also ways to be a bit more intentional: user interviews or a full-on program for customer involvement.
Sales teams, customer support teams, and on-the-ground employees have a ton of insight into customer pain points, which means they're a great resource for collaborative product development.
Ideally, you'll have feedback built in to your everyday processes—think comments on wireframes and collaboration in GitHub—but there are a couple of other things you can try as well.
A lot of businesses shy away from collaboration and knowledge sharing with industry partners for fear of spilling company secrets.
But if you do it right, your team could walk away with a tremendous amount of new insights, new industry contacts, and even a new lead or two.
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