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Product development is a complex process that requires many different teams with countless stakeholders. But complexity doesn’t have to mean complicated. You can align your product development process—making it more efficient, consistent, and successful—with a custom product development template.
A product development template is a reusable resource that outlines your product development process. It’s often used and created by the product manager, who leads the development process.
Templates help to reduce confusion and error on development teams. They streamline the process, and ensure that you (the product manager) can create a standardized set of steps that everyone can follow (no matter their team). In turn, this helps encourage cross-functional collaboration—a critical piece of the project development process. And, instead of a team member forgetting important steps—like receiving buy-in for a recent prototype—you can build this step in as part of the process in your product development template.
In short, your product development template is a way to standardize your roadmap for product development, to ensure that your deliverables are consistent across projects and product teams.
Product development is the process for developing a new product. It follows the entire product development lifecycle, from that initial brainstorming session all the way to market launch. Usually, the process follows six steps:
Product releases are a complex, time-consuming process—especially for large companies. Using a digital template for product development can help your team stay focused on each task of every stage, so they don’t get overwhelmed or lose sight of the end goal.
In Asana, you can build a digital template that:
Coordinates cross-functional efforts: Digital templates ensure that all tasks—including cross-functional ones—are captured. That way, no matter which cross-functional stakeholders are involved in the product development process (even those who don’t have product development experience), they don't miss any critical steps.
Boosts efficiency: Standardizing your product development process with a template will streamline efforts and ensure that all crucial work gets done, even if it’s a new person doing the tasks each time. This reduces work about work—so you spend less time chasing down prioritization lists and more time focused on development.
Modernizes the process: Your processes are often only as good as the tools you use. By creating a product development template in a work management tool, you can connect integrations and workflows into one space that is accessible to all stakeholders. Instead of spending the time to find and load the latest Figma file iteration, you can connect it directly to the product development project.
Customize your workflow: Build your template in a project management tool to rotate between views (such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and lists) to experiment with how your team works best. Include the sections in your template that are most relevant to you, and skip unnecessary steps that don’t work in your company or industry.
Your template should reflect how your team and company moves through the product development process. It will likely link out to other workflows to keep all related projects connected. If you’re a startup or you haven’t defined your process yet, one way to structure your template is around the six stages of product development.
Here is where you brainstorm, get creative, and imagine what’s possible in product development. When you use your template, connect brainstorming sessions, user stories, or a product backlog to this section to coordinate ideas and, ultimately, develop product strategy. Factor in space for metrics on product/market fit that will help to determine which products move forward.
Your product definition is exactly what it sounds like—this will be where you define your project planning when you use your template. In your template, connect your business analysis, project scope, and the marketing strategy for when your product’s new features are ready to go to market.
This section should include your workflow for prototyping. In your template, add in space to attach a feasibility analysis, example use cases, and product requirements so developers can quickly and easily get to work.
Design is where you bring your product vision to life. Make this part of your template inclusive, so that stakeholders will always be kept in the loop on design updates and decisions. Where applicable, note which tasks are dependent on other initiatives, to help team members stick to deadlines.
Testing is a rigorous process that often has its own teams and tasks associated with it. But the purpose of including this section in your template is to ensure that all product stakeholders have access to the data you receive from testing.
The final piece of your template should be all about launch—your strategies for it and retrospectives for after.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.
Timeline View. Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule.
Milestones. Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal.
Jira. Create interactive, connected workflows between technical and business teams to increase visibility around the product development process in real time—all without leaving Asana. Streamline project collaboration and hand offs. Quickly create Jira issues from within Asana so that work passes seamlessly between business and technical teams at the right time.
Miro. Connect Miro and Asana to streamline workflows and see the full picture of every project, all in one place. Embed Miro boards into Asana project briefs, allowing team members to interact, view, comment, or edit directly from within Asana. Or, attach an existing or new Miro board to any Asana task, automatically inviting task collaborators to view, comment, or edit the board.
Figma. Teams use Figma to create user flows, wireframes, UI mocks, prototypes, and more. Now, you can embed these designs in Asana, so your team can reference the latest design work in context with related project documents. And, unlike screenshots, live embeds update in real time to reflect changes made in a design file, eliminating the overhead that comes with finding the right files and updating images.
Loom. Loom videos help you add personality, context, and clarity to your Project Overview. You can easily embed Loom videos to explain your project, set expectations, and highlight key milestones. A Loom video message adds nuance and context to get your team up to speed on the project faster. The best part is—your team can watch the videos without leaving Asana.
Build out your digital product development template to include the six sections of your product development workflow. For example a section for generating ideas, product design, and the launch. If you’re using project management software, you can automate your workflow with task dependencies, signify important milestones, and connect directly to the team within your template.
Yes! If you’re in product development, a template is the best way to kickstart your work. First, build out your template to follow your workflow. If you’re a newer product team or don’t yet have a standardized workflow, we recommend using the six sections of product development to outline your template. Then, when you’re ready to start your next product feature, you can skip over the repetitive steps of project planning and jump directly into development.
A product development template is most useful for repetitive workflows. If you follow the same series of steps and processes during product development, you can keep those same steps organized in a template. This reduces the time you spend planning out your workflow because, instead, you can just duplicate your template and get started.
Bring products to life with a product design template. Organize work for faster, better development.