Requirements, Benchmarking and Teardowns
Requirements and Benchmarking
One of the things we can do to understand and develop our own requirements is to explore other products that are similar to our proposed product or that solve the same or similar customer problem. Where there are similar needs met, benchmarking is a way for us to understand how other suppliers have met the specific challenge, or more importantly, how we can develop the product in an even better way. Benchmarking can provide us with performance metrics for the product. Knowing this, we can establish the performance expectations from our product which will show up in the requirements for the product.
Requirements and Teardowns
Teardowns are also useful when it comes to requirements generation. We can learn what drives the cost in at least one incarnation of the product, which is how the competition has chosen to meet the customer demand. We then are able to gain some measure of understanding of at least one possible incarnation of the solution (product) helping us to understand trade offs that were made in developing the design. We are then able to bring our creativity to the table using this implementation for critique. There is a slippery slope, however, in that we must not infringe upon any intellectual property lest we pay the price at some later date in litigation.
We need not go into the requirements gathering and understanding of the new product blindly. We can learn a great deal by exploring the existing product environment. Experience suggests, when we use these approaches, we find other ways to accomplish the objective. We can learn from others, which can keep us from burning our hand on the metaphorical stove, as well as giving our team and talent a starting point for brainstorming other ways to achieve the goal.