Simply put, a PRODUCT is a good, idea, method, information, object or service created as a result of a process and serves a need or satisfies a want.

A product has a combination of tangible and intangible attributes (benefits, features, functions, uses) that a seller or manufacturer offers a buyer or user for purchase.

PRODUCT REALIZATION starts from market requirements and product critical attributes (or Product Attribute Leadership, a.k.a. PAL) which define the product’s target performance and related parameters, to basic design and production of a product provided to customers, measurable by quality control.

Product realization provides clear, certifiable standards for the process of bringing a product to market. (ISO9001:2008)

Product attributes include technical and technological capabilities, marketing features and market parameters in addition to resources required to define new product designs and the requisite manufacturing and field support processes. It implies a clear idea of what the product will be, usually expressed in drawings, master sections, statements of work, functional product specs, or their equivalents. Based on this, quality management can objectively determine how the product is ‘realized‘ and how efficient the realization process is across the product lifecycle.

The PRODUCT LIFECYCLE covers a sequence of stages from concept to design, development, validation, manufacturing, procurement, sourcing, production, assembly, sale. maintenance, support. The lifecycle of the product includes technologies that define it, its design, engineering, manufacturing, maintenance, etc. It also includes the process that people follow or use to make the product real. In addition to changes related to technologies and external forces from the market and industry, changes also concerns people and processes – from development to manufacturing, production, assembly, delivery and support processes: typically, the New Product Introduction (NPI) platform drives the development process from concept to start of production.

The NPI process is to enable achievement of world-class product performance across the various development cycles, production cycles, procurement cycles, maintenance cycles, etc. The Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) processes are the building blocks underpinning how the NPI platform is applied to ‘realize‘ the desired product. The PLM logical data model is designed to enable and support the management of these cycles in maximizing data reuse, associativity, automation, interchangeability, interoperability, searchability, quality assurance, visibility, etc. and many other nouns finishing with “-bility” or “-lity” 🙂

It has been argued many times, and perhaps worth restating here, that these cycles are what define the ‘relational‘ nature of the product data, and even more broadly speaking, the enterprise data. This circular view also includes how engineering creativity is ‘managed‘ into the innovation funnel and through the successive design and engineering iterations. This is why one must remember that the Product Realization Life-Cycle is sometimes better explained when written with a capital C.

What are your thoughts?