< Methods

Available product analysis



Find out if what you are planning to do has already been done (in full or in part) by someone else.


Identify existing solutions that may solve the problem (or a part thereof) you are trying to fix with your solution. Decide if it is worth the effort to recreate their work, or whether it is better to simply buy it from them or embed their work in yours.


  • A list of available products that have some overlap with the one you intend to build.
  • Someone with experience in using or developing similar products (could be yourself).
  • Eagerness to find partial solutions developed by others.
  • An open view: a near-fit might be sufficient to consider.

In practice

Most companies build their work on what others have already done. This happens a lot in the open source community, but also in commercial products.

Phase(s) of use

In the following project phase(s) available product analysis can be used:

  • Problem definition