Identify Customer Needs
Table of Contents
Step 1. Gather Raw Data From Customers
Interactions with Customers
- First Sponsor Interview
- Interviewers: Yi Fan Zhang (ME Student)
- Sponsor: Nazareth College
- Interviewer: Briefly state the background of the project. What/who prompted its proposal?
- Sponsor: Our current stationary bike is used for endurance purposes for stroke patients, however there was no balance response and no feedback for the patient when they are leaning to one side. We are hoping to either have the bike in a harness or to vary the tilt of the bicycle seat.
- Interviewer: What age group is the bicycle used for?
- Sponsor: The majority (80%) of the patients are between the ages of 50 to 80.
- Interviewer: What is the height range of the patients?
- Sponsor: 5'0 to 6'4
- Interviewer: What is the weight range of the patients?
- Sponsor:90 lbs to 300 lbs max.
- Interviewer: What concerns does the attending therapist have?
- Sponsor: To ensure the patient stays on the bike so it may be necessary to push the patient back on the bike if he/she leans too far. To make sure that the patient is safely transferred on the bike and off the bike. The seat height is another concern as soon as the patient is on the bike as the attending therapist needs to make sure the seat is adjusted to the right height for the patient before he/she uses it. There is usually 1 therapist per patient.
- Interviewer: How do you want the bike to interact with the patient?
- Sponsor:The main emphasis is on balance. We would prefer that there are sensors installed to provide feedback to the patient in stages. e.g. Yellow light gives the patient a warning that they are leaning too far, a red light means that they are about to fall etc. These can be installed on the bicycle seat or anywhere where it is convenient.
- Interviewer: How far will the bike tilt?
- Sponsor: This is something for you to figure out. Find an average.
- Interviewer:How will the bicycle be moved and how frequently will this occur?
- Sponsor: The bike will be moved by lifting it up and this will happen occasionally.
- Interviewer: How simple do you want this product to be?
- Sponsor: The up and down seat adjustment will remain the same. The left and right movement is the new feature and the patient will require supervision at ALL times.
This is a great place to include an affinity diagram constructed in collaboration with the customer, a focus group, or peer students, as a graphical representation of raw data associated with customer needs.
Step 2. Interpret Raw Data in Terms of Customer Needs
The new device will:
- Be safe
- Add varying (but controllable) degrees of side-to-side instability to stationary bike training
- Allow use by people of varying heights and weights, subject to the limitations of the existing stationary bike
- Provide feedback to the patient and therapist on degree of tilt
- The device will always be used with a physical therapist in attendance.
- The original stationary bicycle cannot be modified so the instability device must be an add-on feature.
Step 3. Organize the Needs into a Hierarchy
The Instability Device must be safe
- Need 1.1 Safe for the patient
- Need 1.2 Provides enough stability to allow patient to train without significant fear of falling.
- Need 1.3 Safe for attending therapist(s)
- Need 1.4 Provides a mechanism to completely stabilize the bicycle when patients mount and dismount
The Instability Device must take into account
patients' size and weight
- Need 2.1 Usable for patients of varying sizes
- Need 2.2 Usable for patients of varying weights
The Instability Device must help patient during
- Need 3.1 Physical therapist has access to patient to help adjust position if necessary
- Need 3.2 Provides intermediate step in difficulty between stationary bicycle and traditional bicycle.
- Need 3.3 Mimics some of the instability experienced on a traditional bicycle.
The Instability Device is easy to
- Need 4.1 Fits in Nazareth physical therapy clinic area
- Need 4.2 Movable within the Nazareth physical therapy clinic area.
The Instability Device is easy to set up and
- Need 5.1 Easy to learn to use
- Need 5.2 Easy to maintain
- Need 5.4 Can be removed or deactivated so existing stationary bicycle can be used as-is
The Instability Device provides
- Need 6.1 Provides visual or auditory feedback on degree of tilt and instability to patient
- Need 6.2 Provides visual or auditory feedback on degree of tilt and instability to therapist
After listing the needs in list order here, this is a great place to include an objective tree as a graphical representation of your interpretation of the customer needs.
Step 4. Establish the Relative Importance of the Needs
|Need||The Product||Needs to||Importance|
|Need 1.1||The Instability Device||Safe For Patient||5|
|Need 1.2||The Instability Device||Provide enough stability to allow patient to train without significant fear of falling.||5|
|Need 1.3||The Instability Device||Safe for attending therapist(s)||5|
|Need 1.4||The Instability Device||Provides a mechanism to completely stabilize the bicycle when patients mount and dismount||5|
|Need 2.1||The Instability Device||Usable for patients of varying sizes||4|
|Need 2.2||The Instability Device||Usable for patients of varying weights||4|
|Need 3.1||The Instability Device||Physical therapist has access to patient to help adjust position if necessary||5|
|Need 3.2||The Instability Device||Provides intermediate step in difficulty between stationary bicycle and traditional bicycle||5|
|Need 3.3||The Instability Device||Mimics some of the instability experienced on a traditional bicycle||5|
|Need 4.1||The Instability Device||Fits in Nazareth physical therapy clinic area||5|
|Need 4.2||The Instability Device||Movable within the Nazareth physical therapy clinic area||4|
|Need 5.1||The Instability Device||Easy to learn to use||4|
|Need 5.2||The Instability Device||Easy to maintain||4|
|Need 5.3||The Instability Device||Can be removed or deactivated so existing stationary bicycle can be used as-is||5|
|Need 6.1||The Instability Device||Provides visual or auditory feedback on degree of tilt and instability to patient||5|
|Need 6.2||The Instability Device||Provides visual or auditory feedback on degree of tilt and instability to therapist||5|