Product performance acceptance limits

Speed Limit Traffic Sign

During my consulting career – both while working full time within a company and as an external consultant – one of the most common issues has been the failure of the company to provide useful acceptance limits for performance parameters for a product.

These included:

  • No limits whatsoever
  • Clearly unachievable limits
  • Limits that could not be evaluated (often non quantifiable limits)

Limits are important because matching observed performance to limits (assuming the limits are correct) prevents releasing a product too late or too early:

  • Late – Delaying product release
  • Attempted early – Having the product rejected or delayed by the FDA
  • Early – Having the product rejected by the marketplace

Any of the above is bad for the financial health of a company.

So why is it so difficult for this fundamental market requirement to be established? I’m not sure.

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