Independent Product Evaluation – from Theory to Practical
Supporting Investors & Developers
Tech Development Company
2016, Independent Product Evaluation – from Theory to Practical
A consortium approached Whiston Solutions regarding a new project. The client was looking for practical advice for a product that had the potential to simplify inter-communication between building systems. The product was successful at a theoretical level, and the prototype was built and tested in laboratory. The tests showed potential for the product in the laboratory environment, but for it to be successful in the ‘real world’ scenario, it had to evolve and become more viable in the global marketplace.
Whiston Solution inspected the product and provided independent advice on the best way to develop and evaluate a practical assessment. To check the global viability of the product, we had to test it under a number of scenarios that are mentioned below.
• We carried out trials on the technical robustness by checking its chances of component failure and its ability to be future proof.
• The product was experimented for user friendliness by measuring the level of difficulty and the result output for an average person.
• We checked it for open protocol communications/compatibility as different building systems might have different communication platforms.
• The product was also tried out for ease of installation and retrofit.
• Along with the above processes, we also tested for serviceable components and upgrades
We also gathered a cross-sector operations team to help carry out the evaluation. The evaluation was run on a number of sites for a period of two months. After the product testing, we carried out an assessment of its maintenance and replacement strategy.
We presented our evaluation and conclusion to the consortium. Our reports included several modification suggestions for the physical component kit to make it more user friendly. The modifications included larger screen displays and simpler and more relevant menus. Our tests revealed that while the prototype technology used was leading edge, it was not robust enough for site conditions. The market package would have to include servicing of the system, leading to training complications. The product did have good future proofing and hot swap facilities.
The consortium took our feedback on-board and are currently proceeding with a second prototype.