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    How much detail should be in the MRS and do product managers need to work with the product development team to develop the MRS?

     (ep1012)
  1. It is not a firewall, but marketing has to take responsibility and accountability for developing the MRS. If you have a hard sales job internally you may want to take some of the engineering side of the house with you as you pursue the MRS information. That often makes acceptance a lot easier, but you donít want to transfer accountability to engineering. Remember the MRS is a "customer derived" document and has nothing to do with what engineering wants.

  2. The challenge comes in turns. If the technology isnít changing much, except getting better and better, then what engineering and technology know is probably good enough to carry you to the next generation. Itís your job to be out there and know when the next change is coming, because thatís when the incremental developments canít get the job done. Generally, at that time, nobody knows what it is going to take to make the change; they just know it canít continue as it is. If something is going to change radically, in the way the customer is going to use your products, it is better that you have the information before your competitor does.
  3. On the question of the amount of detail in the MRS, in the 6 good MRSís that I have been involved with, they were not detailed to the point of specifying anything, but they had a lot of content and typically ran 30-40 pages and took 3-6 months to develop—not full time for product marketing, but a substantial part of their time. It lends credibility to the document and helps cleanse your thinking if you put in enough detail to ensure you are talking about the right stuff.
  4. The detail follows after you figure out the top 3-5 things that have to be done by the product. Doing the detail without the top 3-5 things identified you will be wrong and you will have spent a lot of time. Also, never use the MRS to tell engineering "How" it is going to work. Your focus is on the "What" and "Why".
  5. I take a different approach and I may be wrong. The clients I work with usually produce a 1-2 page document. It is a view from 30.000 feet. I want to know exactly what the market is requiring–price, competition, delivery, service, quality, etc. I want to know those details and you can usually state those in 2 pages or less.
  6. Some of the most successful companies in the business used a comprehensive MRS to define their product. Novellus did an absolutely marvelous job of coming into the CVD business and the average MRS for them and others Iíve seen had 40-90 pages. The previous panel member talked about the view from 30,000 feet and you need that at the front of your MRS, but the MRSís I refer to were extremely detailed because they talked about film qualities. By definition, you had to include detail of how it was measured, expectations, etc. The better MRS has lots of process knowledge. From my experience this created some of the most successful industry companies.
  7. When Mattson Technology was founded, Brad basically said "We need more wafers per strip." That was his MRS and Mattson went and did that. Actually they implemented kind of poorly in two or three area, such as chamber design and some robotic sfuff, but Brad was dead on that people wanted more wafers for the same capital dollar. It took 3 years to sort out the implementation because engineering hadnít been told that the robot had to work most of the time. This is an example where the MRS had the big thing, more wafers per hour per capital dollar, but the not the details. The company made it because of the big thing, but think of the success level if the detail had been provided.