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Building software products

Making impactful digital products involves strategic thinking, good communication, and lots of collaboration. Product feature development is about figuring out the best way to elegantly solve problems within your team.

This guide is for you, if you want to:

What is product development?

Product development involves the process for researching, communicating, and building software products.


There are roughly 3 areas of work involved in product development.

The product feature handbook is a resource on a process for making good software products - build a process and make it your own. It's good to keep an open-mind, iterate often, and find a strategy that intrinsically works for your team.

If you have any feedback for me the product feature development handbook or want to share strategies that work best for you email me at hey@ashlyn.app.

Why build products instead of projects?

Products and projects are not the same. Projects lend themselves very well to engineering or construction work like building a bridge or building a house. These types of projects have known design, known cost, are estimable, and have a defined end.

The complicated nature of solving unique problems when building software means that there are so many unknowns that it becomes too tricky to manage like a project. Projects have to be small enough to easily estimate the amount of effort required to complete. Anything with a medium amount of complexity or higher needs to be treated like a product.

Software projects try to have defined time-limits, fixed-budgets, and usually fixed-deliverables or scope-of-work. First, the budget is allocated to deliver a predefined scope of work, and when they have achieved their goal, the team will either disburse or work will transition to maintenance-mode. Or, the project will be considered over budget and the team will apply for more funding.