10. Explain why Timing Analysis is important in the product design process. Explain any one Timing Analysis Tool

Monday, 17 February 2014

10. Explain why Timing Analysis is important in the product design process. Explain any one Timing Analysis Tool


Timing Analysis in Product Design Process

Product Design/Development Process is the sequence of steps or activities which an enterprise employs to conceive, design, and commercialize a product.Many of these steps and activities are intellectual and organizational rather than physical. The six phases of the generic development process are:

1.Planning

2.Concept development

3.System level design

4.Detail design

5.Testing and refinement

6.Production ramp-up

A well-defined development process helps to ensure product quality, facilitate coordination among team members, plan the development project, and continuously improve the process.

The first phase, Product Planning, is a periodic process that considers the portfolio of product development projects to be executed. A well defined planning ensures the success of targeted product in the market. It is likely that the firm cannot afford to invest in every product development opportunity in its desired balanced portfolio of projects. As timing and resource allocation are determined for the most promissing projects, too many projects will invariably compete for too few resources. As a result, the attempt to assign resources and plan timing almost always results in a return to the prior evaluation and prioritization step to prune the set of projects to be pursued.

Determining the timing and sequence of projects, sometimes called pipeline management, must consider a number of factors, including :

→ Timing of product introductions : Generally the sooner a product is brought to market the better. However, launching a product before it is of adequate quality can damage the reputation of the firm

→ Technology readiness : The robustness of the underlying technologies plays a critical role in the planning process. A proven, robust technology can be integrated into products much more quickly and reliably

→ Market readiness : The sequence of product introductions determines whether early adopters buy the low-end product and may trade up or whether they buy the high-end product offered at a high initial price. Releasing improvements too quickly can frustrate customers who want to keep up; on the other hand releasing new products too slowly risks lagging behind competitors.

→ Competition : The anticipated release of competing products may accelerate the timing of development projects.

The Product Plan

The set of projects/tasks(to achieve larger gains from specialization) approved by the planning process, sequenced in time, becomes the product plan. The plan may include a mix of fundamentally new products, platform projects, and derivative projects of varying size. Product plans are updated on a periodic basis, perhaps quarterly or annually, as a part of the firm’s strategic planning activity.

Relative timing of design process for two types of products

To explain the timing of design effort, it is convenient to classify products as:

◈ Technology-driven products : The primary characteristic of a technology driven product is that its core benefit is based on its technology,or its ability to accomplish a specific technical task.
Eg : A hard disc drive for a computer is largely technology driven

◈ User-driven products : The core benefit of a user driven product is derived from the functionality of its interface and/or its aesthetic appeal. Typically there is a high degree of user interaction for these products.
Eg : An office chair is largely user driven

The fig. below shows that design is incorporated into the product development process during the later phases(Concept testing onwards) for a technology driven product and throughout the entire product development process(Identification of customer needs onwards) for a user driven product.


Timing Analysis Tools

Time management seems at first to be a modern concept, but really it isn't. The first step in time management is keeping track of it, and so every time-keeping device going back to the dawn of recorded history is a time management system.

Time management tools can be broken down into four generations:

 First generation ones are clock and alarms. Yes, your alarm clock, that vile thing you slap into silence every morning, is one. Extensions of this concept are digital devices which can sound alarms when a task is done.

 Second generation tools are calendars and appointment books. These can be both paper and digital. The digital version is infinitely more useful, because you can set reminders for deadlines and errands. Calendar tool software runs the gamut from PDAs to laptop and desktop accessories. A calendar tool should come by default with just about any operating system sold - there's even plug-in apps for phones now.

 Third-generation tools are planners, organizers, and controllers. These are done more on an industrial scale - for instance, software an office would use for dispatching mobile units and keeping shifts covered. However, a simple thing like a software to-do list or a desktop notes application uses the same concept on a personal scale.

Fourth-generation tools are the personal skills you use to combine the above three categories and use them wisely and effectively. In some cases, this can also involve timers and control systems. Some tech professionals use a time-tracking system to be able to bill clients by the hour. Anything you use personally, even tying a ribbon around your finger to remind you of an appointment, counts here too.

Time Management Matrix

One of the most commonly used timing analysis tool is the Time Management Matrix proposed by  Stephen Covey in his  book  “First Things First”. A Time Management Matrix can help you discover how much time you might be wasting. The Matrix has four quadrants.

Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent

Only crisis activities should be in here. If you have included exams and papers here, you are probably not allowing yourself enough time to fully prepare. If you continue at this pace you could burn yourself out!


Quadrant 2: Important and Not Urgent

This is where you define your priorities. What’s important in your life? What will keep you balanced? For example, you may know that good nutrition, sleep, recreation, and maintaining healthy social relationships are important but do you consciously make time for them in your daily or weekly routine? Managing your life and the lifestyle will help you manage your time.

Quadrant 3: Not Important and Urgent

While you may feel that activities, such as instant messaging, need your attention right away, too much time spent on Quadrant 3 activities can seriously reduce valuable study time. This may leave you feeling pulled in too many directions at once.

Quadrant 4: Not Important and Not Urgent

If you’re spending many hours on Quadrant 4 activities, you’re either having a great deal of fun or spending a lot of time procrastinating! Remember, the objective is balance.
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