Integrating customer requirements into product designs
Despite all best efforts, the design process often leads to the introduction of products that do not meet customer expectations. Although the design team typically applies customer-related information from several sources, the product design somehow fails to satisfy customer requirements. Clearly, we need to develop a better understanding of the process by which designers in large development organizations transform information about customer requirements into the final design specification. To improve our understanding of this process, Antonio J. Bailetti and Paul F. Litva examine design managers' perspectives on the sources of customer requirement information. During the evolution of a product design, the design team applies information that is endorsed by marketing and product management. Common sources of such information include commercial specifications, inferences from existing products and services, deployment studies, and external standards. When this management-endorsed information is deemed inadequate, designers supplement it by creating and sharing their own customer-related information. This local information includes the results of benchmarking function and performance, the designers' perceptions of a service provider's installed base of equipment, and validations of intermediate designs. Marketing and product mangement cannot easily review the local information that designers create and share in evolving a final design. This article highlights the importance of creating mechanisms for ensuring that customer requirement information from various sources is internally consistent. To meet this goal of consistency, organizations must ensure that customer requirements information produced by marketing satisfies the information processing requirements of the design community. In addition, the knowledge that designers actually apply to produce a design must incorporate customer requirement information endorsed by marketing and product management at all stages of product development.
|Journal||Journal of Product Innovation Management|
Bailetti, A.J, & Litva, P.F. (Paul F.). (1995). Integrating customer requirements into product designs. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 12(1), 3–15. doi:10.1016/0737-6782(94)00021-7