From Idea to Product

How do we work up from an idea all the way to a working product/solution? We split this process up in four phases, which are loosely based on the Front-end loading (FEL) method. The idea is to develop sufficient information and understanding early on in the project. This enables strategic decision making about the direction the project will be going and better risk assessment and resource allocation.

Phase 1: Requirements and Feasibility

  • Data aqcuisition and analysis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Compiling Requirements
  • List applicable regulations (CE etc)

It is important to derive the requirements as completely as possible before turning your idea into a project. This is where we need your domain specific knowledge to get an in depth picture of the problems to solve. Additionally, we try to understand the why of the problems so that we can be sure we are solving the root cause and not the consequences.

In this phase we might also need to do research and data analysis to test if certain ideas are actually feasible within the project constaints.

Phase 2: Concept Development

  • Proof of concept designs
  • Quickly evaluate working principles

Combining all requirements and other prerequisites we will make one or more concept designs. This may involve creating some early prototypes to compare certain working principles. The idea is to do this phase quite thoroughly so that enough details are known to make good decisions regarding the next steps. After this phase one of the concepts should be the winner and it should be possible to make estimates for the bill-of-materials and planning.

Phase 3: Prototyping

  • Electronic design
  • Software and firmware development
  • Prototype assembly
  • Acceptance testing and field tests

This phase starts when one of the concepts has been picked and approved. The prototpe phase entails the complete hardware design and software design and development. We will produce the prototypes and perform functional testing. We verify if the product we built is working correctly and if it meets the program of requirements. After that we will do acceptance testing in cooperation with the client. This should validate whether the solution actually solves the clients problem. Did we build the right thing? In some cases the prototype is also the final product, in other cases we can start field tests and start preparing to scale up production.

Phase 4: Design for Production

  • Get the design ready for larger scale production
  • Robustness against component availability
  • CE compliance and certification (e.g. EMC, LVD)
  • Cost optimizations

In the final phase of the product development cycle we will fine-tune the design. Depending on the specific product we will need to ensure compliance with relevant regulations such as CE. Most likely we can make some improvements based on the things we learned during the prototype phase. Component selection will be re-evaluated for cost optimizations but also to make sure we use components that stay available during the time the product is on the market.

Production and Assembly

  • Small scale in-house assembly
  • Managing Suppliers
  • Outsourcing
  • Quality Control

Usually a product consists of multiple parts that are produced by different parties. At Jitter we have the capacity to do small scale electronics production in-house. For larger scale we can assist by managing the (overseas) manufacturing partners and by offering extra guarantees regarding quality. Each design has specific characteristics that might need more attention during production. We make sure that the communication with the suppliers goes smoothly and effectively.