Do the five entities of design cover everything?
The five “entities of creation” are
- the product functions organized in a function tree
- the component, piece parts, mono’s, lowest level items, organized in a bill of material
- the tasks in a manufacturing/fabrication process, arranged in a sequence in a bill of process
- the tasks to be performed by people, arranged in a sequence in projects and programs
- persons with competences, organized in the companies org chart
Now, five is not a sacred number. So, let us search for another entity that needs to be created in a new product venture. It shall not be an attribute of one of the entities that we have already defined. It shall have levels of aggregation as in an org chart.
Or can we cover a full new product development venture with merely five entities?
What criterion can we use to answer that question?
A full venture starts with marketing defining a business plan in which they mention estimates per year regarding
- the expected turnover (in years to come)
- the manufacturing costs (in the years where there is production)
- the operational costs ( the costs of having the company/factory operational)
- the development expense (mainly salaries)
- the required investments (tooling for tests, manufacturing)
A feasibility study for a new venture can be done by preliminary defining and estimating the properties of the entities in the data model.
The Bill of Material and the Bill of Process allow us to enter estimated values on a high aggregation level, or as far down the bill as possible. The bill of process guides us through the required investments per operation (or per higher level) and we can enter estimates for the required investments.
The project plan allows us to enter estimated numbers for required manpower and for the duration of the program. Will we be able to start production in the required time window? Development expense is estimated from initial project plans for marketing, development and engineering and the man-hours therein.
But where do I find the expected turnover? The product is specified in a BoM and the expected sales-quantities are an attribute to the highest level ’the product’ in that BoM. A marketing plan looks much like a project, describing what tasks that Marketing plans to perform to get sales going (with expenditures on mailings and advertisements). The sales plan is a little like a tree-like structure, from the low level retailers to the high level whole-salers, but no, retailers do aggregate into wholesalers.
It seems we can do with the five entities of creation that we have defined. There is no other data-carrier that is independent of these five.