Developing Innovative Products

Phase 0: Feasibility Analysis

The goal of this phase is to identify existing technology to achieve the intended high-level function. If technology can be purchased as opposed to developed, the scope of subsequent development phases changes.

Simply put, product development companies research and assess the probability that the current technology can be used to reach the intended functionality of the product. By doing this, the development efforts are reduced, which in financial terms represent a great reduction in development costs.

Moreover, if the technology is not yet available, then the assessment can result in longer development cycles and the focus moves into creating the new technology (if humanly possible) that can accomplish the functionality of the product.

This is an important part of the in any product development process because it is safer and financially responsible to understand the constraints that a product can have prior to starting a full development cycle. A feasibility study can cost between 7 -15 thousand dollars. It might be sound very expensive for some, but when it is much better than investing $100k+ to end up with a product that no manufacturer is able to produce.

Phase 1: Specification or PRD (Product Requirements Document) development

If your product is feasible, congratulations! you are a step closer to creating your product and you can move into documenting what is going to go into the product itself, aka the guts (product objective, core components, intended end-user, aesthetics, User interphase, etc).

In this phase, product design and engineering focus on documenting the critical functionality, constraints, and inputs to the design. This is a critical step to keep development focused, identify the high-risk areas, and ensure that scope creep is minimized later.

This document will help you communicate the key features of your product and how they are supposed to work to all members of your team. This will ensure that you keep everyone involved on the same page.

Without one, you are more likely to stay off track and miss deadlines. think about the PRD as your project management breakdown structure (BDS)

Phase 2: Concept Development

Initial shape development work identifies options for form, as well as possible approaches for complex mechanical engineering challenges. Initial flowchart of software/firmware also happens here, as well as concept design level user interface work. Aesthetic prototypes may be included in this Phase, if appropriate. Prototype in this phase will not typically be functional.

Phase 3: Initial Design and Engineering

Based on decisions made at the end a concept development phase, actual product design and engineering programming can start. In this phase, Level 1 prototypes are often used to test approaches to technical challenges.

Phase 4: Design Iteration

This part of the project is where we focus on rapid cycles, quickly developing designs and prototypes, as the depth of engineering work increases. This phase can include Level 2 and 3 prototypes, typically through multiple cycles. Some products require as many as twenty prototype cycles in this phase. Others may only require two or three.

Phase 5: Design Finalization / Optimization

With all assumptions tested and validated, the design can be finalized and then optimized for production. To properly optimize for production, product design and engineering teams take into account the target production volumes, as well as the requirements of the manufacturer. Regulatory work may start in this phase.

Phase 6: Manufacturing Start and Support

Before production starts, tooling is produced, and initial units are inspected. Final changes are negotiated with the manufacturer. Regulatory work also should wrap up in this phase.

Surprising Small Home Office Ideas

It doesn’t matter if you are working from home or in an office building, your office is one of the places you will spend huge chunks of your time. It is a space you need to be as practical as possible, and you also have to like it. It is very hard to work in an office you hate. If you dislike it, maybe you have an opportunity to change it. Here are a few ideas.

Small Spaces

If you are trying to create a new study or office space at home and don’t have a designated room for it, don’t despair. You can utilize small spaces or corners of rooms that otherwise are under-utilized and gathering dust. Look around you and see what options your home offers. Very often people overlook places because they have been deemed as too small. However, you can make small spaces look bigger with a couple of simple color changes. Once you have located the spaces you want to create an office – get to work. Check what furniture you can move or rearrange so it fits the space and looks at different possibilities for office furniture.

Color Palette

Look at what kind of colors dominate your office at the moment. Perhaps it’s time to switch it up a little. Go bold. Pick your favorite color and use it as an accent color on different parts in the office. Perhaps the wall behind your desk is extremely boring. Paint it your favorite bold color to make space look not only functional but also stylish. If the wall is out of the question because you use it for shelving, a whiteboard, or something else, consider using colored accents in other things – binders, pen holders, notebooks.

Empty Corners and Light

Do you only have a corner to use? That should not hold you back from creating an office for yourself. Find a desk that fits in or makes one your own by upcycling materials. One of the most important aspects will be how comfortable you are sitting at the desk, so make sure it fits. Make sure that the light is appropriate and doesn’t strain your eyes since corners can be quite dark, especially if the window doesn’t quite provide enough daylight.

Utilize Nooks and Crannies

Perhaps you have an empty corner in your bedroom that could easily become office space? Put a desk against the window and when you get too tired from working -you can easily look outside and rest your eyes. If you have a window behind you – make sure the curtains block out enough light for you to avoid squinting, but make sure it’s not too dark either.

Make sure you your brain will look at a bedroom as a relaxation space so make sure you separate the two areas to separate work and rest. You can have modern office space and use softer tones and textures for your bedding and bedroom furniture. This way you can easily work there, but then separate the two spaces and not worry about insomnia because your brain is still in the fifth gear thinking about work.

Secret Spaces

If you don’t want to spoil the rest of the style around the house, blend different styles and textures together. Find furniture you feel good about and that fits the rest of the style in your house. A classic desk probably will not look very good against a modern interior, so find something that looks good as a whole.

If you are short on space, see what kind of shelving you can create or utilize around you. If you have space under the desk and it’s not in the way – boxes are a good way to store items. Nowadays you can also get different solutions to neatly hide everything away when you are done. For example, hang a curtain in front of your workstation so you can hide it from guests and yourself. Otherwise, it might be glaring at you from its corner.

Your home office will become the place where you spend quite a lot of time so keep it organized. If you need a little bit of mess around you while working – organize everything once you’re done. It will give you the satisfaction of a day well spent and it will not stick out from the rest of the house like a sore thumb.