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Product Development Process

At Genesis we make the process for getting a product designed and developed easy. With few exceptions, the process outlined below will provide all of the necessary steps to take your product idea and turn it into a product reality.

Initial Steps (A)

  1. Prior to beginning a business relationship with Genesis, a client profile form and a mutual non-disclosure (NDA) will be completed. This is your assurance that your product ideas are held in the strictest confidence. It is also our assurance that when we insert novel solutions into your product, you will keep them confidential as well.
  2. Once the customer profile and NDA are completed, Genesis will request a Statement of Work (SOW) that will allow you to describe in detail the task you want Genesis to perform. The SOW will contain as much product detail as you can provide (drawings or sketches, schematics, materials, components, data sheets, etc.), how the product will be used, the markets the product is targeted to, and the scenarios and situations in which the product will be used. It is not necessary to know everything at this point, Genesis personnel can help with the SOW to ensure that we all understand the scope of the job.
  3. Genesis will then prepare an "informal" proposal, consisting of a description of the product, descriptions of the tasks Genesis will perform, a schedule, and a Rough-Order-of-Magnitude (ROM) cost. The ROM is provided to ensure that both you and Genesis understand the scope of the job and to eliminate as much as possible any surprises and misunderstandings. Upon acceptance of the ROM, a formal proposal, schedule, quote, and contract will be issued and signed. Depending on the size of the job, and the schedule, Genesis will typically require from one-third to one-half of the contract cost to begin work. Once documentation is signed, and the initial payment clears, the next step in the Product Development Process begins.

Product Definition (B)

  1. Needs analysis. A description of the product is developed from the statement of work, and elements of the description are separated, sorted and assigned to various subsystems or elements of a product.
  2. A rigorous translation of the "needs" into requirements is performed. Each requirement is developed according to strict systems engineering principles. The requirements form the precise framework around which a product is developed. Each requirement is allocated to components of a system block diagram that may or may not be the same as developed during needs analysis. These requirements are developed with all aspects of the product life-cycle in mind, from design, development, regulatory compliance, prototyping, production, spares, tools, maintenance, installation, operation, logistics, and disposal.
  3. Various test plans, acceptance criteria, installation, maintenance, logistics, and training plans will be developed as needed for the support of the product.
  4. A review of the project will be held where the customer and all "stakeholders" are briefed on the current status and agree that the data represents sufficient detail to minimize the risk of moving onto the Design stage. This review is typically called a System Requirements Review (SRR) and the document capturing all the requirements is called a System Requirements Document (SRD).

Preliminary Design (C)

  1. Design conception. Based on the requirements and the requirements allocation, initial design concepts are developed and tested against the requirements. Testing at this stage is primarily analysis and simulation. Some circuit performance may be measured with breadboard electronics if needed.
  2. Preliminary schematics, preliminary mechanical drawings, software flow charts (some coding), preliminary bills of materials, and preliminary logistics documentation is produced.
  3. Prototype materials, long lead items, and other components are procured to support testing and the next stage of development.
  4. Once again, a review of the project will be held where the customer and all "stakeholders" are briefed. This stage is typically called the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and captures the design that will satisfy the bulk of the requirements, if not all requirements, identifies risk areas, and provides the stakeholder the opportunity to "adjust" parameters before the cost to do so becomes too great.

Critical Design (D)

  1. By this time in the design, the product is well established and only small changes may be required to ensure that the product meets its intended requirements. Prototypes are manufactured and circuit analysis and testing performed to verify performance and proper characteristics.
  2. Schematic designs are finalized and printed circuit boards are laid out. Mechanical drawings completed and mechanical parts prototyped for fit check and some performance modeling. A "functional prototype" can be built at this stage.
  3. Software is produced and loaded into target environments for verification. Documentation of the software is finalized and prepared for review.
  4. A review of the project will be held where the customer and all "stakeholders" are briefed. This stage is typically called the Critical Design Review (CDR). In small projects, the Preliminary Design Review and the Critical Design Review can be combined to reduce cost and schedule into a Product Design Review (PDR). By this stage, any charges to the product, except for minor adjustments, cosmetic changes, or some software changes, will impact the cost and schedule of product completion. Major changes cannot be made without significant rework.

Final Design (E)

  1. All changes identified in previous steps are incorporated into the product.
  2. The "functional prototype" is updated, changes verified, and incorporated into the product. Drawings are finalized, components procured and one or more "production prototypes" are produced. Additionally, a "marketing prototype" may be produced to support the upcoming marketing function.
  3. Full in-house testing is performed to ensure that the product is ready for final and acceptance test.
  4. A review of the project will be held and is called Test Readiness Review (TRR). This review will demonstrate that all requirements have been met and the product is ready for testing and production.

Acceptance Test and Delivery (F)

  1. A formal test is performed on the product to ensure that it meets all requirements and is acceptable to the customer.
  2. A manufacturer's data package is assembled that provides all the necessary drawings, files, and data that a manufacturing facility will need to produce the product. This manufacturer's data package typically includes schematics, mechanical drawings (igs or other file formats), PCB layout files (gerber files), bills of materials, assembly drawings, software object code, firmware, and logistics support documents (spares list, consumables list, operations manuals, maintenance manuals, training manuals and products, installation instructions, disposal instructions, etc.)
  3. Upon receipt of any final payments, and satisfaction of all contract provisions, the manufacturing data package is released to the customer and, if directed, to the manufacturer.
  4. Additional items that may be developed in support of a product include mold designs for plastics, retail packaging, marketing materials (specification sheets), and other support materials as identified.


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