Writing a good product design specification

Listening too much to people inside your company or only a small number of customers can lead you to falsely validate or abandon a problem. We get a lot of insights from the discussions that follow.

Testing in manufacturing cycle — What tests will be required to ensure product conformance?

Writing a good product design specification

Do you change your specs whenever a fresh idea comes? If we think of problem statements as lines crossing the circle, then a good problem statement grounded in market understanding will bound an area in the circle that represents all the acceptable solutions. Here are my recommendations: Start by assigning someone for each project the responsibility of being the voice of the customer. You probably look at the first few pages and then skim the rest. The problem is usually the hardest thing to nail. We keep all our product discussions in ProdPad. And that tiny blue dot is the specification for one particular product. In the case of teams that work from a product specification, particularly in hardware development, engineers are typically not allowed to start working until it is completed and approved. You will find yourself in a price war. This product spec defines exactly which product the developers should focus on and build. Since everyone on the team understands the problem being solved, everyone can contribute to the specification. You lack understanding of your platform.

There are better optimised ways to solve the problem. What usually follows is that some of your assumptions were wrong. Think MVP.

how to write report specifications

In either case, the rest of the team is lacking any context for the solution, the why they are building this product, and therefore cannot make recommendations.

May 23, Adrian Rolufs One of the biggest challenges product development teams face is simply how to decide what product to build. Joel Spolsky has written extensively about this.

product design specification for a kettle

Not convinced? You can start by asking customers what problems they have that they think you can solve, but you have to dig deeper to get to the truly valuable problem statements or golden nuggets. None of these are good for business.

Importance of product design specification

These golden nuggets generally come from developing a deep understanding of the market and piecing together information from a wide range of sources. Bypass five of the biggest challenges with requirements management by grabbing our paper. The goal of this stage in the exploration is to convey an understanding of the problem and a sense of the value associated with solving it. You want to make sure that the need is crystal clear. Share to:. We get a lot of insights from the discussions that follow. Here are my recommendations: Start by assigning someone for each project the responsibility of being the voice of the customer. Listening too much to people inside your company or only a small number of customers can lead you to falsely validate or abandon a problem. If your answer to the above is Yes then it means either: You lack clarity on what you are building. The life of a product manager, eh? I have been at places too where the specs written are quite technical. As the process is controlled, there is a framework and transparency that prevents anyone from overriding decisions.

Intellectual Property — Is it patentable or suitable for design registration? Think of it this way: User testing is all about minimizing risks. Michael Holloway — 3Minds Limited.

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Now, what happens if you receive a one-page document? It will also state other requirements that other departments like Technical Publications, Quality and Marketing will have interest in. It is a guide to the project team of what is required of the product. The idea is to give the design team maximum flexibility in creating the most innovative solution possible within the constraints. User stories — what is the user trying to accomplish? Next time focus more on understanding why you are building the feature in the first place. When I started out in Product, I used to write long-winded emails which I passed off as a product spec. If the problem happens frequently and has high impact, then the value of solving it will be high. Intellectual Property — Is it patentable or suitable for design registration? Do you want it to stand out or blend in? Will the product need to be robust or have a disposable feel? Is there a particular deadline?
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How to Write Great Product Specs