Target Setting Principles and Methods in the Product Development Cycle 2010-01-0014
Vehicle target setting is an evolving process based on continually changing internal (management, standards) and external (competitive and legal) requirements. In addition to evolving requirements, the process for establishing and documenting targets may not be clear. The objective of this paper is to detail the overall process of target setting, the critical factors to consider, and key definitions for each stage of the process. It will describe the complete process from early competitive benchmarking to final verification testing.
Setting targets for a vehicle requires definition and thorough benchmarking of the competition, an understanding of the key attributes used to describe the vehicles' performance, and a clearly defined set of requirements. These requirements will be regulatory, corporate and competitively based and grouped by clearly defined, customer perceived attributes which can be cascaded to specific vehicle systems.
Target setting proceeds following benchmarking and involves iterations of progressing levels of detail as the design matures. Within each design iteration compatibility checks insure that vehicle targets can exist together in harmony with overall program timing and cost constraints. Overlaid with the target setting process is a product development cycle that proceeds from a concept phase through design, prototyping and production verification and validation. This paper will focus on the early phases of a program where targets are primarily set as part of the larger process of vehicle development.