A thorough understanding of product goals is essential
to effective product development. Such goals normally encompass performance,
cost, and schedule. It is the role of the IPT to assess the needs of the
customer together with the capability of the enterprise and its suppliers to
derive a complete set of achievable product goals. Understanding of the
process capabilities of the enterprise and its suppliers, which is the
objective of Step 2
, is key to establishing achievable goals. Inclusion of the customer on the IPT
Use of techniques such as Quality Function Deployment
(QFD) (see Appendix F.1.15
) can assist in relating perceived customer goals to
possible conceptual designs. This visual representation includes the customer
requirements, the customer priorities, the design variables, and the design
objectives, as well as the relationship among these key items. It is the
in-depth understanding of what is desired versus what is reasonably achievable
that must be determined at the beginning of the product development process to
realize a producible product downstream. Metrics must be established for all
product goals so that the degree to which a design concept meets each goal can
be readily understood.
Since product cost can be a critical issue, Cost Tools
such as Design-to-Cost (see Appendix F.1.2 ), can be used for setting and achieving cost goals. The IPT is encouraged to retain design solutions that can meet the cost goal and to discard the others. It is critical to thoroughly understand the product goals and the process
capabilities to affordably produce specific design concepts.
The importance of identifying product goals early in
the product development cycle is highlighted in Case Studies 24
through 27 in
Setting appropriate and realistic goals is critical to
successfully producing affordable products that meet the needs of the customer
and that are available when needed.
involvement of all functional area representatives including the customer and
suppliers on an IPT is required.
Tools and Techniques: QFD (see Appendix F.1.16) is an
excellent technique for assessing the needs of the customer against the
possible design variables. It provides a basis for the IPT to identify key
goals and the relationship between those goals and the key product attributes.
Cost models that relate the goals to the potential designs should also be
maintained. The use of the Cost Tools discussed in Appendix F.1.2
can provide assistance in focusing on cost.
Training: It is beneficial to provide the IPT with training on QFD and Cost Tools.
The key to identifying realistic product goals is to
involve all organizational elements of the enterprise as well as representatives
of the customer and the suppliers in the establishment and assessment of the
goals. The formation and use of an IPT that includes these members from the
beginning of the design process is the most effective means to achieve success.
It is insufficient to have the customer provide the goals and then have the
design team decide how to address them. Affordable production of useful products
results from a cooperative understanding of all parties regarding the
implications of customer requirements on the producibility of the product.
Hence, the setting of goals should be done by the IPT and should be revised, as
necessary, as additional information on design concepts and on the maturity of
production processes is obtained.
As noted previously in 1.2 , it is recognized that, for
some products, the participation of a customer on the IPT may not be possible.
Since it is important that the voice of the eventual customer be included in all
deliberations, it is recommended that, in the least, the customer should be
represented on the IPT by a member of the marketing organization of the
Although not required, it is useful to employ such tools
and techniques as QFD and Design-to-Cost (DTC) to assist in establishing and
assessing product goals. What is most important is developing an understanding
that goals must be set and that they must be based on the needs of the customer
and the capability to affordably produce the product. In addition, it is good
practice to measure progress toward the goals to identify critical areas for
additional emphasis.Some specifics regarding the identification of product
1. Form a multi-disciplinary team (an IPT) that includes the customer(s), suppliers, and all organizational elements of the enterprise (sales, marketing, accounting, design, engineering, manufacturing, product service, and support, et al).
2. Identify all the customer desires for the product and prioritize.
3. Maintain a method for tracking potential design concepts and maturity of manufacturing processes against the customer desires. (QFD can be used.)
4. Based on the desires and the known capabilities of the enterprise and suppliers, agree on a set of product goals.
5. If appropriate, set specific cost goals and design the product to meet those goals. Addressing producibility early has significant cost leverage.
6. As trade studies are conducted (see 3.3
), review the cost, schedule, and performance impacts of various design
concepts and adjust the goals as agreed by the IPT.