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From Napkin to Production

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Tool_maker
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Re: Orderly design process - fail
Tool_maker   9/3/2013 11:10:22 AM
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  Sometimes careful prudent designs are the only ones that can succeed. I am thinking of the medical field in particular where history has shown that some things rushed to market cause more problems than they cure. There are also documented cases where negative results have been altered or hidden in order to get a product to market first.

  Lawyers love those cases where steps have been skipped and it does not matter if 99% plus have been successful, some attorney somewhere will find case # 1000 and illuminate the missing step.

Tom Kramer
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Re: Orderly design process - fail
Tom Kramer   9/3/2013 12:07:04 PM
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It seems like the main difference of opinion here is whether or not there is time to do a thoughtful job of upfront research. A friend of mine has a grandfather who always said, "the hurrieder you go, the behinder you get". Another friend has always said, ''There is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over". I think there is a lot of wisdom in these sayings.

It doesn't need to take an immense amount of time to do up front research. If a company bails on it because they think it will take 3 months and 150k, there are other options. We have done short research projects for customers in just a week. The benefit is that the design team (engineers and designers) get to work with what I call "A Priori" knowledge... they can design in an informed way, knowing a bit better about what the design "needs" to be.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Design Discipline
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/3/2013 12:07:05 PM
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There is much to be said for the value of following a well-defined process, as a program routes it way thru other disciplines (Marketing, Legal, Agency, etc.) These three depts., for example, have no clue of the design details and need a process to lean on.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Design Discipline
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/3/2013 12:08:55 PM
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I'm Designer AND Engineer, and I have often gone straight to prototype. It's the fastest and most fun route.  But in retrospect, the projects that do allow peer review always have Value-Added.  (Two heads are better than One). 

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Design Review
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/3/2013 12:12:35 PM
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Did you have posted on the wall the (6) phases of a project?

1.       Blue Sky enthusiasm

2.       Reality check

3.       Painful long days

4.       Panic

5.       Punishment of the hard-working

6.       Praise & Glory for the Non-participants

Tom Kramer
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Re: Design Discipline
Tom Kramer   9/3/2013 12:13:10 PM
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Scott, the thing I have seen with "the prototype is enough" thinking is an excessive use of time and resources. What people tend to forget is that some good design thinking has to happen in order for you to get a prototype in the first place. Those who buy into this philosophy tend to espouse the "fail early fail often" mantra. I believe more in "fail early, fail often, fail smart". This simply means that with some simple informed design thinking up front, you may only have to build three prototypes to get to the final design instead of seven.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: Orderly design process - fail
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   9/3/2013 12:17:17 PM
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I also work by another paradigm, in line with your thoughts here:  I ask my clients as they kick-off projects, "What is most important to you in developing this idea into a product for production-?"

1.       Time to Market

2.       High Quality

3.       Low Cost

Pick TWO, as all three are considered mutually exclusive.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: How to get it right the first time.
GlennA   9/3/2013 12:32:30 PM
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William K;  Well said.  A group of qualified people who are interested in the success of the project, rather than self-aggrandizing or empire-building, are essential to the success of the team, and the project.

ScotCan
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Platinum
Re: Design Discipline
ScotCan   9/3/2013 2:06:17 PM
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Point taken Tom...I suppose it depends on the scale of the idea. Experience in Aerospace Liaison Engineering has shown that despite all the talent in the world there are still so many nonconformances that show up in a new airplane that an army of Liaison guys are hired to disposition fixes both in Design and in Manufacturing.

In contrast a novelty bicycle design has a vast history behind it, millions of bike examples out there and lends itself to creative sculpting which doesn't interfere with fit, form or function.

I reckon that a singular approach does not fit all circumstances and requires modification to suit.

Tom Kramer
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Blogger
Re: Design Discipline
Tom Kramer   9/3/2013 2:37:22 PM
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Scott, I agree, and your point is an important one. There are smaller projects that may not need much research at all at the get go. We always think in terms of what the project really needs, and scaling the efforts to meet the needs. beleive me, it is a lot harder to talk a customer into doing more research than it is to talk them into less!

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