Expert's Panel

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    My experience has been that the MRS (Market Requirement Statement) is vital early in product development, but loses its effectiveness once the product ships. Comment on this.

  1. The fact is that the customer's need or requirement never stops changing. It is dynamic so your MRS has to be revised continuously to reflect those needs. It is usually ever six months. There is some variation that you are adding, subtracting or modifying. There is the initial bringing to market, but when your product goes out your customers are going to respond to it, and from that response you are going to gain insight as to what needs changing—it is on-going. If the product loses its effectiveness it is probably because your MRS was static. You look for opportunities to grow and sometimes a companion MRS winds the current product down and ushers in a replacement. By the way, one of the best ways to obsolete a product is to raise its price. The MRS provides the checks and balances to determine where engineering and manufacturing resources should be placed—it is a rolling technical business plan.
  2. Watkins Johnson was a company that pioneered PLCs or Product Life Cycle Committees. Kurt Lightfoot who had first experienced such a thing at KLA, championed it in WJ, in an enhanced mode. It involved multi-discipline members and managed all aspects of the product throughout its life cycle. The guiding document was the MRS and the committee chair was the product manager.