5The Product Life Cycle

Many choices must be made before a reliability program can be put in place. These decisions will have a significant impact on the organization and the time required to implement the reliability program. A small company will have different barriers and decision criteria than a large one. A large company that has made the commitment to improve its products through reliability may be willing to spend whatever it takes to be successful. Of course, this alone will not guarantee success, and if implemented poorly, leads to lower profits with marginal returns on product reliability. A small company will have different constraints driving the need for more reliable products and will implement change in a different way from a large company. Before tailoring a reliability program that is best suited for you, an understanding of the reliability process, concepts, and tools is needed. In Part II, we will unravel the mystery behind a successful reliability program.

5.1 Six Phases of the Product Life Cycle

We begin this chapter with a brief overview of the reliability process. The process is the same for all companies implementing a reliability program. The degree to which this process is formalized will depend on the size of the company and the time‐to‐market constraints. (A more detailed description of the reliability process is presented in Part IV, “The Reliability Process for Product Development.”) The reliability process needs to include the entire product life ...

Get Improving Product Reliability and Software Quality, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.