In the MediaWiki community, product development is the process of the following:
- researching and prioritising the users' needs
- This includes: reaching out to users for user research, discussing with them to gather feedback, triaging and prioritising feature requests, etc.
- deciding and specifying what to build
- working with designers and developers to implement or change features in the software
- and analysing if the solution is efficient and effective enough for solving the problems originally identified
- This includes: managing incoming and prioritising bug reports.
The most visible product development work is done in Wikimedia Foundation's Technology and Product departments. Each has product managers responsible for product management along with analysts, designers, and a community liaison.
But there are also many volunteers doing similar work, often without formally calling it "product development": they're the volunteers who participate in software discussions, request and describe new features, report and triage bugs, and even complain on mailing lists.
Some of this work overlaps with what tech ambassadors do, and some is more about specifications and prioritisation. In any case, your help is needed to ensure developers build features that are desired and useful to users.
- Developers/Maintainers - a list of who to contact about what activity