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ADMS 4245 (2)
Chapter 5


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York University
Administrative Studies
ADMS 4245
Peter Modir

CHAPTER 5 – Product Specification • The customers’ needs data gathered is information; however, it is hard to answer the question how to do that product in terms of design and engineering. Development teams usually establish a set of specifications, which spell out in precise, measurable detail what the product has to do. Product specification do not tell the team how to address the customer needs, but they do represent an unambiguous agreement on what the team will attempt to achieve in order to satisfy the customer needs. Some firms use “product requirements” or “engineering characteristics”. A specification consist of a metric and a value. For example, “average time to assemble” is a metric, while “less than 75 seconds” is the value of this metric. • When are specification established?: in a perfect world, the team would establish the product specification once early in the development process, then design and engineer the product to exactly meet those specs. This will work for products such as soap or soup. However, for technology-intensive products is rarely possible. For technology products, specifications are established at least twice. Immediately after identifying the customers needs, the team sets target specifications. • Establishing Target Specifications: the target specifications are established after the customer needs have been identified but before product concepts have been generated and the most promising one(s) selected. However, in some cases it is not technically feasible e,g, in designing a suspension fork, the team cannot assume in advance that it will be able to achieve simulatenously a mass of 1 kg with a manufacturing cost of $30. This preliminary specifications are labeled “target specifications” • Establishing the target specifications contains four steps: 1. Step 1: Prepare the list of metrics: the most useful metrics are those that reflect as directly as possible the degree to which the product satisfies the customer needs. The relationship between needs and metrics is central to the entire concept of specifications. The working assumption is that a translation from customer needs to a set of precise measurable specifications is possible and that meeting specifications will therefore lead to satisfaction of the associated customer needs. For example, the customer need was to reduce vibrations in the bicycle “a dropout to handlebar at 10 hz”. A few guideline should be considered when constructing the list of metrics:  Metrics should be complete: Ideally, each customer need would correspond to a single metric, and the value of that metric would correlate perfectly with satisfaction of that need.  Metrics should dependent, not independent, variables: specifications also indicate what the product must do , but not how specification will be achieved. Designers use many types of variables in product development; some are dependent, such as the mass of the fork, and some are independent, such as the material used for the fork. You cant control the mass of the fork because a decision made in changes towards the design, size will change the outcome of the fork.  Metrics should be practical: Metrics will be directly observable or analyzable properties of the product that can be easily be evaluated by the team  Some needs cannot easily be translated into quantifiable metrics  The metric should include the popular criteria for comparison in the marketplace: many customers in various markets buy products based on independently published evaluations. Such evaluations are found, eg, in popular science, consumer reports, internet, etc. if the team knows that its product will be evaluated by the trade media and knows what the evaluation criteria will be, then it should include metrics corresponding to these criteria such as the standard use of ML, L, HZ, etc.  if we cant translate the needs into metrics such as “the need of: the suspension should work with fender” you cant have a metric for this need; therefore, you can give it a pass or fail. 2. Step 2: Collect competitive benchmarking informa
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