How to Choose the Right Product Development Partner

Rapid development of high-quality products is essential to ensuring that new solutions and capabilities are available when and where they are needed. In the aviation, space, and defense industries, the pace of innovation is rapid, yet safety and performance remain critical.

What to Look for in a Product Development Partner

If organizations lack the resources, experience, or desire to develop products in-house, partnering with a third-party product development partner may be a good idea. These are some of the key differentiators to look for when looking for a product development partner.


In high-risk industries such as aviation, space, and defense, working with a proven partner is critical to the success of product development. A long track record of successful products demonstrates competence and a deep familiarity with the operational and regulatory compliance requirements of these industries.

The benefits of working with an experienced product development partner include:

  • Portfolio of reference designs
  • Record of safety-critical development and certification
  • Proven IP
  • Demonstrated technical expertise

Product development in high-risk industries is not a task for a new, unproven organization. Choosing a solutions partner with a long history of successful products dramatically improves the probability that the project will be completed successfully on time and on budget.

Customer Focus

Product development in safety-critical industries must be focused around customers’ unique business needs. Benefits of customer-focused development include:

  • Clear product realization
  • Understanding of client needs
  • Experience in industry-specific research
  • Improved customer experience

A development partner should be able to help an organization create a product that meets the needs of the business and of the user. An organization with a proven track record of customer-focused development within the industry can provide invaluable insights, recommendations, and support throughout the development process.

Sole-Source Product Development Partner

Product development in Aviation, Space, and Defense can require expertise and components in multiple different areas. Some examples of essential knowledge and capabilities include:

  • Software
  • Electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Manufacturing
  • Quality Testing
  • Certification

Attempting to coordinate efforts across multiple organizations with different areas of expertise can increase the cost, complexity, and time associated with product design, development, and production. A partner that offers most or all of these capabilities in-house provides streamlined communication pipelines and experience in coordinating efforts across multiple areas of technical expertise.

Speed & Agility

The Aviation, Space, and Defense industries have rigorous testing and certification processes that can delay the release timelines of new products and solutions. A slow product development process can further extend these timelines, making it more difficult to develop and deploy solutions where and when they are needed.

A partner that offers rapid, agile development can help organizations to expedite the development process. Some key factors to look for include:

  • Small, agile teams
  • Established, proven IP
  • Rapid prototyping, development, and deployment

Your partner should provide means for an organization to shortcut long, expensive development cycles. Small teams, the ability to use proven IP rather than “reinventing the wheel,” and rapid development and testing all help to reduce the time and cost associated with the product development process.

High-Quality Deliverable

With agile development methodologies, the goal is to reach a minimum viable product (MVP) as quickly as possible. The key word in this phrase is “viable.” An MVP should address the target problem or use case, potentially with room for additional features, optimizations, or enhancements to the user experience.

A product development partner should commit to quickly delivering a high-quality deliverable. A low-quality MVP intended solely to meet deadlines just causes delays as it is thrown away and redone within the next version.

Streamlining Product Development with Performance

Performance has 25 years of experience developing safety-critical solutions. With our full-lifecycle expertise in software, hardware, and manufacturing, organizations in the aerospace, space, and defense verticals can leverage this expertise to expedite their product development. To learn more about how Performance meets the criteria of a premiere product development partner connect with our experts today.

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