6. Discuss the target specification steps?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

6. Discuss the target specification steps?

The target specifications are established after the customer needs have been identified but before the product concepts have been generated and most promising one(s) selected.

The process of establishing the target specification contains four steps:

1. Prepare the list of metrics.
2. Collect competitive benchmarking information.
3. Set ideal and marginally acceptable target values.
4. Reflect on the results and the process.

Step 1: Prepare the list of metrics

A simple needs-metrics matrix represents the relationship between needs and metrics. The row of matrix corresponds to the customer needs, and the columns of the matrix correspond to the metrics. A mark in a cell of the matrix means that the metric associated with the cell is related.

Step 2: Collect competitive benchmarking information

A competitive benchmarking chart will help to give information on competing products and thereby takes positioning decisions. The columns if this chart corresponds to the competitive product and the rows are the metrics established in step 1.For each competitive product, the values of the metrics are simply entered down a column.

Example of List of Metrics

Metric No: Need No. Metric Importance Units

Step 3: Set ideal and marginally target values.

In this step, the team synthesizes the available information in order to actually set the target values for the metrics. Two types of target values are useful: an ideal values and a marginally acceptable value. The ideal value is the best result the team could hope for.

The marginally acceptable value is the value of the metric that would just barely make the product commercially visible.

There are five ways to express the value of the metrics.
  • At least X
  • At most X
  • Between X and Y
  • Exactly X
  • A set of discrete values 

Step 4: Reflect on the result and the process

Reflection after each iteration helps to ensure that the result are consistent with the goals of the project. Once the targets have been set, the team can proceed to generate solution concepts. The target specifications then can be used to help the team select a concept and will help the team know when a concept is commercially viable.

Benchmarking Chart Example

Metric No: Need No. Metric Importance Units Competitive
Product 1
Product 2


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