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Product Development Consulting Services & Expertise | TCGen

TCGen’s Product Development Consulting helps you develop better products, faster

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Increase product innovation and reduce time to market

Successful products are the lifeblood of a company, and your product development strategy is essential to success. But even great companies occasionally go through periods where they are losing ground to competitors, no longer delighting customers, or not producing new products as quickly or efficiently as they need. This is where TCGen can help.

When should you hire a product development consultant?

An experienced product development consultant can bring an outside view and expertise to help you bring your product execution to the next level and increase product-market fit. You may need to…

  • Improve product development process and move faster
  • Develop a strategy for new product introduction and increased innovation
  • Increase performance of your cross-functional teams
  • Provide expert coaching for your product leadership team
  • Evaluate and set best-in-class benchmarks, metrics, and KPIs

In select cases, you may want a consultant to lead a specific initiative, such as a user experience or user research project. Or to fill an interim role for a short-term urgent initiative. TCGen can advise in these areas, and in some may refer you to outside partners.

Why Work with TCGen

1

Trusted Expertise

All of our partners are experienced product product leaders with c-level experience in multiple functions. We understand both the product development process and how it fits with the bigger picture.

2

Proven Methodologies

We help people work better and faster. Practitioners of… Agile Project Management, Design Thinking, Product Roadmap. Structured Deliverables. Improve product design. Full Lifecycle.

3

Industry Knowledge

Our breadth of knowledge provides rich context when working with your team. We’ve worked in manufacturing, healthcare, SaaS, B2B, B2C. With Startups and Enterprises.

Our Product Development Consulting Services Strategy

We listen carefully and tailor our approach to you and are selective about the clients we take on – only work with those where we think we can add tremendous value quickly.

Outcome-Driven Mindset

Focus on outcomes instead of process. We want the least possible process and no less.

Build Your Capability

We help you build your team’s product development skills rather than take over from you.

Focused Implementation

We change only the things that matter, avoiding organizational disruption from change.

How It Works

When engaging a consultant, it’s essential to know how long it will take and how much it will cost. We will scope this out in advance and provide an up-front fixed-bid pricing.

Generally speaking, we structure our implementation in three phases:

1

Assess and Recommend

  • Interview stakeholders, review current metrics, and conduct a project history.
  • Assemble a working team from your org, including a product owner
  • Provide focused recommendations

2

Implement

  • Choose 1-3 initiatives with big bang for buck, aligned with your product vision
  • Develop framework, prioritize, and roll out
  • Measure KPIs and share data-driven results

3

Refine and Iterate

  • Review progress, iterate for incremental improvement
  • Transition to internal team
  • Build roadmap for ongoing improvement

What Our Clients are Saying

TCGen has years of experience helping numerous clients build better products, faster. 

“TCGen was able to come into a complex assignment and teach both the art and science of project leadership. Seek them out.”

Todd Tomba

Roche R&D Executive

“TCGen has that rare combination of brilliance and pragmatism that truly sets them apart from other consultants.”

 Dan Keller

HP Executive

“TCGen’s principals combine a logical brilliance with charisma and fire. They are able to quickly see the best path to a solution and they are brilliant at executing.”

Matt Belge

Senior Product Designer, Imprivata

Want to Learn More?

Our blog has a host of topics on product development consulting. Here are some other free resources to help you.

A product development consultant is an expert in product development, market fit, lifecycle management, and overall product success. They work with organizations to identify product opportunities, define product visions, set product strategies, and devise go-to-market strategies. They often bridge gaps in internal expertise, offering insights into customer needs, competitive analysis, and product innovation. Product development consultants play a crucial role in accelerating product growth by collaborating closely with development teams and their executives.

To start consulting as a product manager, you must have broad product management experience and at least one specialized niche (and valuable). Consultants are rewarded for being specialists, not generalists. Once you have something to say, publish it and highlight your unique value through channels like social media, blogs, and content creation. Sales and marketing of your services are crucial; they attract clients and establish your reputation and expertise in the field. If no one knows about you, how can they find you? Begin by offering your services on freelance sites like LinkedIn or Toptal to enable you to build up a client list.

The short answer is yes, and it can be a great career move. To shift from product management to consulting, identify your niche and showcase your expertise through a portfolio of great products you have developed. Sales and marketing are key; create a personal brand and authority through an online presence (podcasts, webinars, groups), securing a domain name for your consultancy to enhance credibility. You will also have to set your consulting fee rate. Setting rates involves researching industry standards, evaluating your experience level, and understanding the value you deliver to clients. Initially, you might adjust rates to gain traction.

A product consultant offers part-time, expert guidance on product strategy, digital transformation, development, and market fit, tailoring advice through research and competitive analysis. They usually do not work as a full-time employee. They craft product proposals and ensure strategies align with market demands for successful product launches. The consultant’s engagement is time-limited, with their success hinging on performance on the product program and the tangible outcomes as they deliver. As the project concludes, typically just after product launch, they facilitate a smooth transition, focusing on achieving the product’s potential.

The CEO, CTO, or Head of Product usually hires a product consultant. Less common would be to be hired by the CMO, or even Head of HR. They typically work closely with a member of the product management team; they can help define an MVP or prioritize features within an existing product.

Product Development Consulting Rates

Product development consultants come from various backgrounds and services, from individuals to established product developers. The following summary table of product development consulting rates provides broad guidelines.

Hourly Rates for Entry Level Product Development Consultants

Individuals with product development experience coming to work as employees in your company would typically strive to meet or beat their current salaries. For individual contributors with five years of experience at startups or relatively small companies that lack sophisticated products, those resources would be paid at an hourly rate of $20/hr – $35/hr as employees (salary.com), and consulting fees of $40 – $70 (to $100) per hour if hired as consultants. The rule of thumb is that consulting rates are approximately 2x an employee’s hourly rate. Small businesses and their business owners might want to try a product-oriented business consultant to evaluate the merits of a new product or service idea with a quick study. 

ProductSchool and Pragmatic Marketing offer Product Development Certifications, but these do little more than establish general competence in the field. Although they are valuable, they may not reflect real-life performance levels.

Also, at this skill level, you can find product owners who call themselves product managers. In some companies, the only difference is the title. However, in most cases, the focus of the product owner is on one release rather than the entire roadmap. Product Owners tend to serve an individual function, while product managers often lead product strategy and supervise a product team.

Hourly Consulting Rates for Experienced Product Development and Product Development Consultants

On the other hand, at technological firms with a premium on cutting-edge skills and technical knowledge, consulting wages can be much higher. Often, the roles blur between product management and product development since, at this level, these positions have many responsibilities in common. 

Product Development to Consulting

It may be tempting to think about career paths in consulting. Still, a product manager with the correct soft skills can be an excellent consultant and help the business improve in many facets, including innovation, design, execution, delivery, and support.  Aside from engineering and operations, it is one of the best roles to launch into consulting.

Due to specialization and job scope (these professionals are involved with marketing and development decisions), the rates are considerably higher. In this case, the national average salary is $49/hr as a full-time employee (ZipRecruiter) and would be ~ $ $100 per hour as a contractor. The employee’s annual salary would be about $100K in this example. Their experience can bring a range of consulting services to help meet your needs.

LinkedIn can be a source of product development consulting resources at lower rates, and it even has job placements where you can see typical qualifications. Often, recruiters and job seekers distinguish between independent consultants and consulting firms with several employees. Consultant salary levels can be higher at consulting firms due to the higher overhead for these companies.

For example, smaller boutique shops may have team members to help with product design and other skill sets. However, on the coasts, where demand is very high, experienced consultants charge between $200 and $400 per hour in niche areas such as AI, SaaS, and Security products. This translates to a daily rate of $1,600 to $3,200 per day. Although you might find consultants at a lower rate, the market rate in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, or New York is about $2,400 a day or a monthly retainer of $50,000.

Deeply Experienced Product Development & Product Development Experts and Firms

At the top end are product developers who are, in essence, Chief Product Officers (internal roles) or are senior partners at strategy consulting firms (BCG, McKinsey, Bain) or are senior management consultants at firms recognized as leaders in product development such as TCGen, Product Development Consulting, and the 280 Group.  Typically, these organizations bring more than one resource to the job, ensuring you have diverse skills and are an exact match for your industry. Often, these individuals will have C Level of experience (CPO, CMO, CTO).

While a little out of the scope of product development/product management, there may be assignments that focus on the skills of a marketing consultant, such as price optimization or product promotion.

These firms also typically have proprietary tools and models included in the consulting engagement, and they run their project management, so they need little guidance and demand a higher rate. Sometimes, these engagements will identify the needs of business development to understand market characteristics and competition better.  

The range for resources like this is $250/Hr to $1000/Hr as independent consultants and top-flight strategy firms could earn double this rate; Partners may charge $2000/Hr.  Often, these consultants price out projects at a fixed fee, allowing them some flexibility while giving the client a fixed budget. Because these firms are so experienced, they know how much an engagement will cost.