Chapter 4
In the Beginning — Customer to Concept


Chapters 4 through 6 describe the development of a new product from the voice of the customer to readiness for production. This description is based on the assumption that any new technologies are developed within the product program. Many products are developed this way. It is usually most productive to develop a stream of generic technologies that provide the technological foundation for new products. When the concept for a specific product is developed, the mature winning technologies are “fished out” of the technology stream for integration into the new product concept. Usually the new technologies are eventually used in more than one product, thereby improving productivity. Chapter 7 describes the development of new technologies, the major improvements for new products.

Even before the concept phase begins, we make some major strategic decisions:

• What is the business plan for our new product?

• How does this product relate to all of our products (product strategy)?

• What degree of reusability of existing designs are we planning?

• When is the product needed in the marketplace?

• How long do we plan to keep it in production?

• How many units do we plan to make?

• Where will the new product be manufactured?

• What regulations, standards, and safety requirements (beyond the compulsory ones) will be met?

Many of these decisions will be updated as we progress through the development of the new product. The strategic context for the new product, which is very important, is described in Chapter 8. Now we turn to the development of the selected product.

  • House of Quality—Planning a Successful Product
  • Voice of the Customer—Room 1
  • Product Expectations—Room 2
  • Relating the Corporation to the Customer—Room 3
  • Customer Perceptions (Benchmarking)—Room 4
  • Corporate Measures (Benchmarking)—Room 5
  • Correlation Matrix—Evaluate Specs Together—Room 6
  • Planning: Concentrate on the Crucial Few Product Expectations—Room 7
  • Targets: Quantified Expectations—Room 8
  • Making the House a Working Plan
  • Enhancements: Parametric Analysis and Matrix Analysis; Literature Searches
  • Progress Check
  • Selecting a Winning Concept
  • Example of a Winning Architecture
  • Pugh Concept Selection (and Generation)
  • Applications of the Pugh Concept Selection Process
  • Progress Check
  • Deployment to the Subsystems (SS)
  • Progress Check
  • Progressive Freeze
  • All the Steps for Success
  • Criteria for Completion of the Concept Phase
  • 43 Steps for the Successful Concept Phase—A Summary

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