What is a Product Specification?
Is what makes you stay tuned with customers’ problem.
The official way to define sounds something like: “a document that provides critical defining information about a product and a full set of requirements; it may include images that visually illustrate the product and note distinguishing characteristics”
So product specification is what makes you sure to hit the target with your business idea.
You simply cannot wait for customer request. They will be:
– generic (what your customer is telling you likely will be reported to your competitors too)
– misleading because of information asymmetries (f.i. about new technologies they don’t know/use)
– chaotic and full with expressed but also with unexpressed/implicit requirements (obvious for them, not necessarily for you!!!)
–not innovative (customer is lazy and used to what is already standing in the market, you are the innovator!!!!)
So to get out of the “customer mist” you need to be proactive and anticipate customer requests; and in order to do that you have to:
–write down a one- page product specification (there are endless models on the net to use for this purpose)
–ask different people with different roles in your company to do the same exercise.
You will soon realize that also in your company there are many ways to see and describe the product and to write down its requirements, its structure, the operations/processes behind it.
Don’t get scared and work as a team, constantly asking yourself:
What are we building and why/for who?
What kind of customer problem we have in mind to fix?
What we want to achieve? How the final product will look like?
How we can reasonably and reliably measure its success?
You’ll then realize that your ideas will finally start to converge. Welcome back to your company’s purest pirit: its vision!!!
Having a product specification (the sooner, the better) in the early stage of firm development will help you to:
-reducing costs and investements;
-establishing a moreclear and productive relationship with partners (f.i supply chain, outsourcers, etc);
– getting quickly and efficiently customer attention and trust
-having a guarantee of customer satisfaction
Yes because, through the specification, you can start a continuous process of improvement and optimization, getting precise and punctual feedback by partners and customers.