Priorities of product development

Priorities of Product developmentWhat are the key topics to consider in developing products?
What are the questions we should be asking ourselves?

An initial thought about three P’s of product, protection, and promotion quickly expanded.

Alliteration may have got the better of me or provided a framework for some valid thinking. Other p’s could be partnership, professionalism, pride (the good and bad kinds) , patience, perseverance, perspiration, perspicacity, politeness (cultural sensitivity), pushiness, possessiveness (releasing organisational hold and letting community emotionally own products and process).


PeopleIf the main goal is to see people growing in God it’s not about having a great product and another community to launch it amongst. Engagement starts with looking at the community and their needs. Wherever possible this includes local partnership and increasingly local ownership (possession?), through ‘Participatory methods’.

  • Who decides who speaks for the interests of a nation?
  • What information is needed?
  • What relationships are key?

PrayerYou can make a great looking product without anyone doing a lot of prayer. Your goal is for God to use your product. Involve him all the way.

  • Who should be praying?
  • How will they be kept up to date with needs and answers to prayer?

ProductIf you have a standard product you hopefully have some criteria about when to use it and some guidelines about how to modify it.
If representatives of the community are choosing a product you have some ideas about what is appropriate.

  • How are decisions made about what products are appropriate?
  • What products are affordable?

Production Making the product involves skills, resources and relationships. Fastest isn’t always best. Politeness, in terms of working within the local culture, may require equal expertise. Production covers creation of the initial product, presentation and publishing – creating the right number of copies, at the right cost per unit.

  • Who is involved in production?
  • Where does funding come from?
  • What decisions made now will impact the quality and impact of the product?

ProtectionCopyright, archiving, and publishing agreements ensure the product can be produced, reproduced with clarity about permissions and responsibilities. This protection is essential to sustained use of the materials we produce and within the different cultural contexts to maintaining partnerships and relationships. Other areas of protection involve looking at a range of threats and taking appropriate steps towards risk management.

  • What does it take to minimise unpermitted activity, ensure no orphaned works?
  • Has appropriate care been taken in regard to content and accuracy?
  • What factors could harm, people, relationships, or work?

Promotion – The goal is not a product. The goal is people who are engaged and growing in God impacted and helped by the right resources. Promotion and distribution are not always the responsibility producers of the product.

  • What needs to happen for the product to be used effectively?
  • What barriers and opportunities exist for successful promotion and distribution?

imProvementMonitoring and evaluation are key to learning and growth. Where next? Are there improvements to be made to the product? Is there a follow up? Are there strategies about use and increased impact?

  • What types of feedback are possible?
  • What methods of evaluation are cost effective? (what are the costs of not knowing what could be improved?)
  • Who decides and makes the next steps?

There are plenty of other possibilities for categories and questions on this list. What would you add? (extra points if it starts with ‘P’ but don’t let that restrict you)

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