P08002: Automated Parallel Bars
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Identify Customer Needs

Table of Contents

Step 1. Gather Raw Data From Customers

Interactions with Customers

Prepare a report on your customer interactions. Following the text by Ulrich and Eppinger, this report may include

  1. Transcripts of Interview(s) with customers
  2. Audio Recordings
  3. Notes
  4. Video Recordings
  5. Still Photography

Affinity Diagram

Questions

  1. What are you expecting in the product?
  2. What are the issues with the current system?
  3. Are there any documents or guidelines that need to be followed
  4. Who is this product targeted to? (Adults or Children)
  5. It was stated in a document that you wanted an obstacle course?
  6. Do you prefer the system to be mobile or stationary?
  7. What do you use currently to assist patients who cannot release and grasp the bars?

Step 2. Interpret Raw Data in Terms of Customer Needs

Current List of Needs
  1. Support net weight of patient and bar (stronger than current)
  2. Won't drop with patients on it
  3. No exposed pinch points or trip hazards
  4. Little horizontal deflection
  5. Does not create spill or trip hazards
  6. Won't snag clothing
  7. Stable upright supports
  8. No greasy parts exposed
  9. Must be stationary (base plate stays in place)
  10. Maintain accuracy between the two bars
  11. Ensure bar is always horizontal
  12. Ease of adjustment to raise and lower
  13. Adjust height under patient's load
  14. Reasonable time to adjust
  15. Maintain similar size and footprint
  16. Needs to maintain current range of adjustment
  17. Height Indicator
  18. Adjust bars together
  19. Performance won't degrade over time
  20. Maintain use of inside and outside of bars
  21. Withstands stress of use throughout lifespan
  22. Preservation of existing system (ability to "roll back" if project fails)
  23. Availability of power source
  24. Costs of relocating parallel bars
  25. Maintenance guide
  26. Machine operation guide
  27. Stay within budget

Step 3. Organize the Needs into a Hierarchy

1. Safe to use for both PT and patient
2. System is accurate
3. System is reliable
4. System is easy to install
5. System is easy to use
6. System is easy to maintain
7. System is within budget

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

Needs Summary
Need The Product Needs to Importance
Need 1.1 Parallel Bars Support net weight of patient and bar (stronger than current) 5
Need 1.2 Parallel Bars Won't drop with patients on it 5
Need 1.3 Parallel Bars Little horizontal deflection 4
Need 1.4 Parallel Bars No exposed pinch points or trip hazards 5
Need 1.5 Parallel Bars Does not create spill or trip hazards 5
Need 1.6 Parallel Bars Won't snag clothing 5
Need 1.7 Parallel Bars Stable upright supports 5
Need 1.8 Parallel Bars No greasy parts exposed 3
Need 1.9 Parallel Bars Must be stationary (base plate stays in place) 3
Need 2.1 Parallel Bars Maintain accuracy between the two bars 5
Need 2.2 Parallel Bars Ensure bar is always horizontal 5
Need 2.3 Parallel Bars Adjust height under patient's load 1
Need 2.4 Parallel Bars Height Indicator 4
Need 3.1 Parallel Bars Performance won't degrade over time 4
Need 3.2 Parallel Bars Withstands stress of use throughout lifespan 5
Need 3.3 Parallel Bars Preservation of existing system (ability to "roll back" if project fails) 5
Need 4.1 Parallel Bars Maintain similar size and footprint 3
Need 4.2 Parallel Bars Availability of power source 2
Need 4.3 Parallel Bars Costs of relocating parallel bars 3
Need 5.1 Parallel Bars Ease of adjustment to raise and lower 5
Need 5.2 Parallel Bars Reasonable time to adjust 2
Need 5.3 Parallel Bars Adjust bars together 1
Need 5.4 Parallel Bars Maintain use of inside and outside of bars 4
Need 5.5 Parallel Bars Machine operation guide 4
Need 6.1 Parallel Bars Maintenance guide 2
Need 7.1 Parallel Bars Stay within budget 5

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