All contracts start with a plan; the better the plan the better the end results. Plans usually start with a Statement
of Work (SOW), often provided by the client. If not included in a SOW for a product, then Features & Functions will be explored
and refined (usually with inputs from various team members: Engineering, Product Testing, Production, Sales, Marketing, etc.), all
as inputs for compiling a Preliminary Specification. This is the detailed statement about “what the product is” (will be), and
“what it does” (will do), and by implication, “why” the product is being developed; but, NOT how to do it.
The next, and arguably most important, step is the development of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This is a multi-tiered,
tree-structured (like an organizational) chart depicting, from the top down to the tiniest details, all of the deliverables.
The deliverables are all of the pieces that need to be accounted for, acquired, designed, developed, integrated, purchased, written,
and otherwise incorporated into the total package called the product. The WBS is usually built using Microsoft’s PowerPoint.
The next most important step is the design of the fully-loaded Critical-Path Gantt-Chart depicting all of the steps required
for each of the items depicted in the WBS. This is the step that defines the “how it will be done,” and “who will do it” for
the “what is to be done,” and “when.” This becomes the development schedule (shortest possible with given resources), accounting
for all of the man-hours and material costs required to get to the finished product, with outline formatting, links to the WBS, cost
data, milestones, effort over duration calendar tasking, and other management parameters. The Gantt-Chart is usually built using
Symantec’s TimeLine, and PERT-Chart depictions are one of its many outputs.
The SOW, Specification, WBS and GANTT Chart all create a detailed product development proposal.
Contract Electronic Engineering Design Services
Copyright 2008 GUSTECH