Project Management

Process

Robust Project Management Frameworks

Project management is key to ensuring that we deliver your products on time and within budget. Setting out a clear product design programme enables us to identify and consider all elements of the design process and how these could affect the timeframe to getting your product to market. 

Risk management ensures that we can achieve your projects objectives by identifying, analysing and responding to risks that could impact the project. Identifying possible risks early in the product design process will enable you to make stakeholders and investors aware of any additional costs or delays that they could cause. Understanding potential risk enables you to evaluate and refine product ideas early on to avoid these problems. 

We have a proven track record of excellent project management frameworks and strong communication programmes that we have developed and refined to ensure the viability and success of projects.   

 

VIEW OUR CASE STUDIES

Visit our case study page to view a selection of some of our previous projects. This is just  a small selection, and we would be happy to talk you through specific projects or share some further examples.

Please get in touch with one of our team to discuss your design requirements. 

 

     

Frequently Asked Questions

An alpha prototype is designed to demonstrate the functions of a product. It is expected to work ‘most of the time’ and will provide useful feedback into the Design Process through Design Review. It will not necessarily look like the final product. 

 An alpha prototype will; 

  •  Be designed to be made by techniques suitable for the final design, but not necessarily actually made by such techniques 
  • Typically be made in low volume (1-10) using manufacturing techniques such as machining and 'rapid-prototyping' 
  • Be expected to work 'most of the time' but will not exhibit the reliability and robustness that would be expected in a final product. 
  • Provide basic design functionality - the various functions will work but will not be tested, validated or calibrated 
  • Require further design refinement before final manufacture can commence 
  • Not be as robust as a final product. For example, it is likely to be more vulnerable to being dropped, paint finishes will be less durable etc 

Provided initial testing is favourable, many of the design aspects of an Alpha Prototype may be maintained in the Beta Prototype design. 

  • Software Alpha Release - An alpha software release is for internal use by the development team, including the client. Alpha software is generally not fully tested and therefore unlikely to be stable. It will demonstrate the key features of the software and be suitable for use by experienced individuals for conducting studies to gather data and also to test for initial customer feedback. New features can be added to alpha software. 

A beta prototype is designed to further demonstrate the functions of a product. It should look like and work like the final product but will not be produced using the factory manufacturing process/techniques. 

 A beta prototype will;

  • Be designed to be made by techniques representative of the final design. Depending on the volume of manufacture, these could include injection moulding, extrusion, casting, machining etc. 
  • Typically be made in low volumes using manufacturing techniques such as machining and 'rapid-prototyping' 
  • Be expected to work with less intervention and maintenance than an Alpha prototype 
  • Provide basic design functionality - the various functions will work but will not necessarily have been fully tested, validated or calibrated. In some cases the purpose of the Beta Prototype will be for verification and further development. 
  • Require further design refinement (possibly including input from user testing of this 
  • Beta Prototype) before final manufacture can commence 
  • Not be as robust as a final product. For example, it is likely to be more vulnerable to being dropped, paint finishes will be less durable etc. 
  • Be suitable for pre-compliance EMC and electrical safety testing, although the prototypes would not necessarily be expected to pass all applicable tests at this stage. 

Provided testing is favourable, much of the design of a Beta Prototype is likely to be maintained in the production design. 

  • Software Beta Release - A beta software release is for internal use and with “trial” consumer sites under supervision. Beta software should be significantly more stable than alpha software and will have undergone at least basic testing. A beta version of the software demonstrates all of the key features and may also be suitable for use by experienced individuals for conducting studies. On conclusion of the beta release phase, there is usually a “Feature Freeze” and ideally no new features should be added to the software after this point, instead, bug fixing and testing become the priorities. Addition of new features after feature freeze should be done through change control and significant changes may require a further beta release and retesting of the software.

A pre-production prototype is a device or instrument made very close to the production intent. It will typically be generated with parts made off-tool and in accordance with the relevant production process for that part (for example moulding a cover using injection moulding tool and following the process defined by the manufacturer). A pre-production prototype may not necessarily be produced by the final manufacturer/integrator and will be made in lower volumes than required as a production output and on a trial basis.  

The aims of a pre-production prototype are to confirm whether the production design meets the product requirements specification and that it can be produced repeatably by the manufacturer. The pre-production prototype should ideally be representative of the final production device in terms of device robustness. The design and/or manufacturing processes may be modified if problems are identified. 

Software Pre-Production Release - The pre-production release of the software (also called a Release Candidate) will be complete in every respect. This version of the software will have been thoroughly tested and will implement the agreed specification. Final verification of the software must then be completed on the pre-production prototype to ensure that all functions operate as expected on the target pre-production hardware. 

Addition of new features at this stage is likely to require a return to the beta release phase and may necessitate complete retesting (regression testing) of the software. 

The pre-production prototype may be submitted to regulatory testing by the client provided the design will not change for final production. 

eg technology does not offer warranties of any kind on pre-production prototypes or any output of the design process. 

What our clients say...

Case Studies