What are the so called Focus Groups By André Vondran
The goal of the Concept Approval Stage is to accurately identify and document customer requirements and to provide the necessary information to make good business decisions.
The focus group is one tool that may be used in this Stage as an input to the Market Studies / Research activity. A focus group consists of current or potential customers who meet to discuss many aspects of a product, including technical requirements, quality and reliability requirements and customer support.
The value of a well-conducted focus group is to provide an in-depth exploration of issues as a basis for improving customer satisfaction and for appealing to new customers. Its greatest strength lies in allowing customers to express detailed opinions and often in uncovering surprises about their feelings, motivations and priorities.
It can play a strategic role in narrowing the gap between X and its customers.
Purpose: It is important to use a focus group during some product development projects to provide in-depth exploration of reliability issues as a prelude to the Reliability Target Setting. This procedure deals only with the use of focus groups to explore reliability issues. Focus groups may also be used by other parts of the XXX organization to deal with different product development issues.
Requirements: This Reliability Engineering task should be considered for all cases of new hardware development where the customer requirements need to be well understood to provide a confidence in the success of the product in the marketplace.
Prerequisites: The key inputs for this task are:
· Availability of a well trained moderator
· Determination of the specific focus area to be addressed
· Development of the list of customers to be recruited to form the group
· Availability of quantitative reliability data pertinent to the focus area
Responsibility: The owner of this task is the Reliability Engineer assigned to the CFT. Participation by the Project Manager and the Product Line General Manager as observers is desirable. This task is part of the overall Program Market Studies and Research being carried out by other areas of the Organization.
Timing: This task must be completed during the Concept Approval Stage as defined in MSRP 2.1. Its outputs contribute directly to the Reliability tasks performed in the Planning Stage.
Steps: The first step is to determine the segment of the marketplace targeted for the particular product development and to establish a customer list of appropriate focus group candidates. The customer list may include present or new customers, or a mix of both. Next, a moderator is identified and the list of topics prepared. Selection of the participants to be invited is then made, with the goal of bringing eight to twelve people together for the round table discussion. The participants may be asked to complete a questionnaire relating to the topics in advance of the session to provide some background for the moderator. Finally, the session is held. It is guided by the moderator, who expresses no opinions, but only an interest in the opinions being raised by the discussion. The value of the discussion lies in allowing participants to control what opinions they express and providing an open atmosphere where new, unanticipated information can surface freely. Additional focus group sessions may be held with different participants to gain better insight and a broader perspective.
Final Output: The output of this task is a report that captures the information surfaced during the discussion. This is prepared by the Reliability Engineer, working with the moderator and the XXX observers. Video or audio tape recordings of the focus group sessions may also be made and used for further analysis and review.
The outputs of this task provide basic information for several of the Reliability Engineering tasks in the Concept Approval and Planning Stages:
· Reliability Target Setting
· Reliability Allocation
· Reliability Growth Plan initial development
· Initial work on the System Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
· Product Reliability Studies
Best Regards · Mit freundlichem Gruß · Cordialmente ·
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