Product management glosary


What is Iteration?

Iteration is a term commonly used in product management, software development, and project management. It refers to the process of repeating a set of tasks or activities with the aim of improving the outcome or product incrementally. In the context of product management, iteration is an essential component of agile methodologies, where the product is developed and refined through multiple cycles of planning, designing, building, testing, and reviewing. This approach allows teams to adapt to changing requirements, learn from user feedback, and continuously improve the product.

Why is Iteration Important?

Iteration is crucial in product management for several reasons:

  • Flexibility: Iterative development allows teams to adapt to changes in the market, technology, or user needs more easily. By breaking the project into smaller cycles, teams can prioritize features, adjust their plans, and pivot their strategy as needed.
  • Continuous Improvement: With each iteration, teams can learn from user feedback, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes to enhance the product. This continuous improvement process helps ensure that the final product meets the needs and expectations of its users.
  • Risk Mitigation: Iteration helps reduce the risk of project failure by allowing teams to identify and address issues early in the development process. By testing and reviewing the product at each stage, teams can catch and fix problems before they become too costly or time-consuming to resolve.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Iterative development enables teams to deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) more quickly, allowing them to test the market and gather user feedback sooner. This feedback can then be used to refine the product in subsequent iterations, ultimately leading to a more successful product launch.

Key Components of Iteration

There are several key components involved in the iterative process:

  1. Planning: Before each iteration, the team must plan the work to be done, including identifying the features to be developed, estimating the effort required, and setting priorities. This planning process helps ensure that the team is focused on the most important tasks and that resources are allocated effectively.
  2. Design and Development: During each iteration, the team works on designing and building the product features identified during the planning phase. This may involve creating wireframes, writing code, and developing user interfaces, among other tasks.
  3. Testing: As the product features are developed, they must be tested to ensure they function as intended and meet the requirements set out during the planning phase. This testing process helps identify any issues or defects that need to be addressed before the product can be released.
  4. Review and Feedback: At the end of each iteration, the team reviews the work completed and gathers feedback from stakeholders, including users, clients, and other team members. This feedback is used to inform the planning process for the next iteration, helping the team to continuously improve the product and adapt to changing needs.


Iteration is a fundamental concept in product management and agile methodologies, enabling teams to develop and refine products through a series of cycles. By embracing an iterative approach, product managers can ensure that their products are flexible, continuously improved, and better aligned with user needs. Ultimately, this leads to more successful product launches and a higher likelihood of achieving business goals.