Overview of methods supporting product planning: Open research issues
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Bacciotti, Daniele; Borgianni, Yuri; Rotini, Federico
Institution: Università di Firenze, Italy
The capability to innovate and thus to renew the commercial offer, is becoming the mission of several companies in order to dramatically increase the customer satisfaction. To this aim, the design activities should be effectively supported, paying specific attention to the earliest phase of design, i.e. product planning, in which the designers have to identify the user needs and translate them in product requirements. In the last decades, there have been some attempts to systematically support this critical design activity. The authors undertook an analysis of these methods, highlighting how they support the product planning phase, their strengths and weaknesses. The comparison of the collected contributions shows a plurality of viable research directions, poorly investigated up to now, in order to effectively support the task of product planning. The paper suggests new functionalities to be introduced in the methodologies proposed so far and stresses the attention on performing further tests to increase the reliability of a great amount of poorly validated, although promising, design approaches.