Defining Product Requirements

As you might have read in my post above this, the step of Product Development Process that is usually skipped over or barely skimmed is defining product requirements, also known as idea screening. This step is sometimes viewed as the most crucial step in the process and should be taken very seriously.

Defining product requirements consists of asking many different questions about the idea that was just brought up. For example, who is going to purchase the product and who is going to use the product? A restaurant might purchase new bathroom sinks but their customers are going to be the ones using the sinks. In this case the only people who really matter is the restaurant managers because they will be purchasing the product. Next one should ask how much the product should cost, the life span, look, feel, weight, and even how the the product is going to be sold. One could sell it through a distributor or open their own local store. (

As important as the basic questions are for your product, the not so straightforward questions are equally as important. When it is made, one must consider the use, and especially misuse, of the product. Could someone get hurt by my product? Could I be sued? Could their be a mandatory product recall which would destroy the company? Are their any legal concerns such as violating someone else’s patent? ( All of these questions are crucial in the 21 century because of all the regulation and safety guidelines that must be followed. Imagine if the product was recalled, a child was hurt from it, or the product released some harmful toxin when used the wrong way. Not only would the company be in the hole for money, but it would also lose a lot of its credibility with customers even if the situation was handled with thew utmost care.

Overall, most of the legal issues and recalls can be avoided if a company invests an adequate amount of time into defining product requirements. Money would be saved, the company name would not be at as great of a risk, and the rest of the Product Development Process would run a lot smoother.

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