A.17 Product description
A product description is used to:
- Understand the detailed nature, purpose, function and appearance of the product
- Define who will use the product
- Identify the sources of information or supply for the product
- Identify the level of quality required of the product
- Enable identification of activities to produce, review and approve the product
- Define the people or skills required to produce, review and approve the product.
- Identifier Unique key, probably allocated by the configuration management method and likely to include the project name, item name and version number
- Title Name by which the product is known
- Purpose This defines the purpose that the product will fulfil and who will use it. Is it a means to an end or an end in itself? It is helpful in understanding the product’s functions, size, quality, complexity, robustness etc.
- Composition This is a list of the parts of the product. For example, if the product were a report, this would be a list of the expected chapters or sections
- Derivation What are the source products from which this product is derived? Examples are:
- A design is derived from a specification
- A product is bought in from a supplier
- A statement of the expected benefits is obtained from the user
- A product is obtained from another department or team
- Format and presentation The characteristics of the product – for example, if the product were a report, this would specify whether the report should be a document, presentation slides or an email
- Development skills required An indication of the skills required to develop the product or a pointer to which area(s) should supply the development resources. Identification of the actual people may be left until planning the stage in which the product is to be created
- Quality criteria To what quality specification must the product be produced, and what quality measurements will be applied by those inspecting the finished product? This might be a simple reference to one or more common standards that are documented elsewhere, or it might be a full explanation of some yardstick to be applied. If the product is to be developed and approved in different states (e.g. dismantled machinery, moved machinery and reassembled machinery), then the quality criteria should be grouped into those that apply for each state
- Quality tolerance Details of any range in the quality criteria within which the product would be acceptable
- Quality method The kinds of quality method – for example, design verification, pilot, test, inspection or review – that are to be used to check the quality or functionality of the product
- Quality skills required An indication of the skills required to undertake the quality method or a pointer to which area(s) should supply the checking resources. Identification of the actual people may be left until planning the stage in which the quality inspection is to be done
- Quality responsibilities Defining the producer, reviewer(s) and approver(s) for the product.