Many inventors, especially entrepreneurs or those working for startups and small businesses, should use iterative development instead of a traditional process. This method is more reliable and often produces higher quality products—an especially important benefit if you want your product to stand out in a competitive market.
However, while this process is the best option for many product creators, there are some possible downsides to consider as well. Iterative development can take more time and effort than traditional development. It involves spending more time in the design and prototyping stages and bringing in beta testers to ensure the design meets user expectations.
That said, one thing to keep in mind is that although you’ll likely spend more time on the early design stages, this extra effort could lead to fewer manufacturing and engineering challenges in the future. In other words, this process is relatively slow in the beginning but gains speed and momentum as the project reaches completion.
If you hire engineers that have worked on iterative development projects before, this process could also go much faster. Some products can be designed in just two months using this method, so it isn’t always slow-paced.
This is why, if you’re considering using an iterative development process, you should work with a product developer and contract manufacturer that has experience with this method. They will know exactly how to effectively test each iteration and when it’s time to move on to the next step in the development timeline. A good engineering team will also give you advice on which details or materials to avoid, so you won’t waste any time or iterations on these flawed designs.
Each iteration gives you the opportunity to learn something new about your design or your end-users. Continuously building on this knowledge pool will help you reach your final objective and may even inform future product ideas you have in the works.