Table of Contents:
Motivation Guide - Costs & Benefits
ISO 9001:2000 Procedure
Reference Standards Bibliography
Checklist Procedure Pricing
The Design Review Information Center [DRIC] is a knowledge
center on the subject of Design Reviews, Software Reviews,
Code Inspections, and other proactive management processes
and tools whose purpose is to eliminate or to find and remove
errors in product design as early as possible. The term "Design
Reviews," in practice, covers the gammut of reviews starting
early in the development process to those reviews that occur
all the way up to product launch. GGI's definition of Design
Reviews differs slightly from the general practice definition.
GGI defines Design Reviews as "reviews of design that
occur prior to physically building a product or compiling
code" -- therefore Design Reviews are "reviews of
design, not reviews of as-built." GGI separates reviews
of physical product or compiled code and generally refers
to those types of reviews as Control Reviews, or more classically,
Quality Control Reviews. Control Reviews answer the question,
"Does the as-built product conform to the specification,"
as such GGI's definition makes Design Reviews a proactive
tool and Control Reviews a reactive tool. While some of the
knowledge in this site is of a Control Review nature, the
vast majority of information in this site is aimed at proactive
Design Reviews are traditional tools that have not lost their
value over time. In fact, given ever shortening Product Life
Cycles, the importance and economic value of Design Reviews
is actually increasing. The earlier a design error can be
discovered and corrected, the greater the ROI for the erring
GGI has been assisting clients and customers for the past
20 years in implementing Design Reviews and Control Reviews.
We have now taken this proprietary internal capability and
The DRIC contains a number of free-of-charge references and
information sources such as cost justification tools, books,
articles, and standards organizations and references for your
complimentary use. We also sell a number of tools including
Procedures and Design Review templates for specific technical
subject areas. All DRIC-related offerings are described within
this site. To purchase any of the tools that we sell, please
go to our GGI Wisdom iStore
and click on "Design
- Costs & Benefits
This Motivation Guide is about the costs and benefits of
utilizing Design Reviews. The least expensive error to change
in a design environment typically costs US$ 1,500 and can
range as high as US$ 10,000 in industries with complex products.
Worse yet, the costs cited in the previous sentence apply
to errors discovered in the late stages of design. When a
company is in the production ramp up phase or worse yet, after
product launch, the costs can be 1000 times greater than the
costs of errors discovered late in design. GGI's most expensive
tool available through this site costs US$ 190. Therefore,
it's only necessary to catch or avoid one error and there
is a minimum five-time payback over the purchase cost of any
tool available through this site. We believe we are offering
some very valuable tools for very short money.
Each of the content blocks below emphasizes different aspects
as to why design reviews are important, or the costs that
companies may face or incur as a result of not utilizing Design
Design Review Checklist Descriptions
The table below lists the currently offered Design Review
Checklists and identifies some of the key attributes of each.
The checklists for Product Definition and Strategic Design
are useful early in the design cycle, when you save the maximum
dollars for each identified product error. All other checklists
can be used for design reviews early - prior to or for early
prototypes - or later as control reviews - for late prototypes
or a final product.
Because we want you to save the maximum dollars, the checklists
focus on helping you find the errors early. GGI does this
by asking questions that (we believe) prompt developers and
reviewers to think about the key design issues for each technical
By making the GGI checklist easy to implement, our intention
is to help you unlock dollar savings by scheduling design
reviews early and often. One implementation feature is their
full ISO 9001:2000 compliance, to minimize documentation hassle.
A second is compliance with accepted design-review processes,
whether they be team-driven or independent-driven, comprehensive
or focused, and formal or informal. Third, each checklist
is an actionable to-do list, with clear outcomes and space
for relevant comments. You will be able to take our initial
template and add, delete, change, or move any of the Checklist
line items in a completely intuitive manner and then update
the Revision History, keeping your document ISO compliant
at all times.
Design reviews have the potential to save dollars and hassle
for everyone touched by your products. We hope that you find
these checklists useful.
Click on each Domain to see a list of Categories covered
in the Domain and a written description of each product.
Design Review Checklist Applicability
Certain Design Review checklists are more appropriate for
certain industries. Certain Design Review checklists are more
generally applicable and may serve many industries.
The table below is a guideline to help you synthesize which
checklist(s) may be most appropriate for your company and
Design Review Checklist Timing
Certain Design Review checklists are constructed to be of
value earlier in Product Development in the more conceptual
stages and others are constructed to be of value in later
The table below is a guideline to help you synthesize which
checklists are most useful at given points in Product Development.
Design Review Procedure
There are many acceptable ways to define and document ISO
procedures relating to design reviews. We have developed a
written procedure that is ISO compliant and at the very least
will serve as an editable template for you or your company.
The procedure, like GGI's design reviews, is created and written
in an MS Excel format. GGI has priced this editable procedure
at $100.00. This procedure can be purchased at GGI's Wisdom
iStore by clicking on this link: Design
Design Review Process & Meetings
Having a high quality design review checklist or template of items to review does not necessarily assure or insure a good design review. Having a certified ISO process does not assure or insure a good design review either. Having a meeting where everyone shows up on time and the meeting goes according to schedule similiarly provides little assurance.
The degree to which the review process is binding, followed-up on, reported-back on, and the close-out of action items is of equal importance to a good quality checklist or template.
A best practice design review process results when a team of peers that are not involved in the design of that product get briefed and then independently perform the design review with the team that is actually designing the product. Further, the action items assigned by the peer group are binding to the team designing the product. This is fairly obvious, but seldom followed.
Best practice design review processes often break down within a year or two. This is often due to "selfishness" that is present in company cultures. Folks don't want to have to find the time to brief and review the work of others, nor do they wish to have other peer groups review their projects. This behavior often manifests itself by complaining there are too many meetings and not having enough time to do one's own work. Management eventually wears down and teams end up reviewing themselves.
When teams review themselves, it is analogous to having the Quality function report into the Manufacturing function. When push comes to shove, the majority of the time Quality takes a back seat so period shipment goals can be met and issues are left to others to resolve after the shipment is delivered to the customer. In an analogous manner for product design teams, issues are often overlooked and the product is transitioned to manufacturing. The issues may be discovered by manufacturing if they are process-related. If the issues are product performance-related, the customer is typically the first one to discover the issue.
The publishing industry does not allow authors to final-proof their writings because they are too close to the subject to detect some grammatical errors and/or the clarity of their message. This has been the case for centuries. Why then do companies, more often than not, let product design teams police their own designs and documentation? Some independence of reviewers is advised during a design review, and certainly across a group of design reviews for a product.
Additional information on design review meeting processes may be found by downloading this older but still relevant article published in Design News Magazine in 1996, Implement Design Reviews The Right Way.
Design Review Bibliography
Behind each of the icons below are a list of references that
may be of use to you or your company as you work to improve
your design review process. The references listed are fairly
complete but by no means exhaustive. If you are aware of additional
high-quality reference materials, we would love to get an
email from you so we can include it in this bibliography.
Design Review Design Standards References
Behind each of the icons below are selected referencable
industry standards that may be of use to you or your company
as you work to improve your design review process. Please
remember that standards are constantly being changed or updated.
If you are aware of any more recent versions of any of the
standards listed, we would love to get an email from you so
that we can update the bibliography.
Design Review Checklist & Procedure Pricing
Packaging Of Design Review Checklists & Procedures
All Checklists come in MS Excel Format and are distributed at this time in the .xls format as the adoption of .xlxs is not yet widespread enough. Our Procedure(s) are also packaged in the same manner.
Pricing For Design Review Checklists & Procedures
The chart below shows GGI's "generic" description of of how we offer the various Design Reviews and Procedures. To see the complete list of Design Review Checklists and Procedures, along the different groupings and bundlings we offer, or to purchase any of these tools, please visit the GGI Wisdom iStore.
*A "Checklists Pak" is a bundling of two or more
individual Design Review templates that have a close logical
or technical relationship. For instance, one of the "Paks"
GGI offers includes the "Mechanical Design" Checklist
and "Ilities Design" Checklist. The Mechanical Design
Checklist focuses on designing the product to achieve the
specification of the product, while the Ilities Design Checklist
focuses on designing the product to achieve manufacturability,
testability, serviceability, and the other necessary "ilities."
A robust design cannot be achieved without both tools. We
have also bundled a number of Power-Electrical-Electronic
Design Checklists into a Pak. The same applies for Operating
Systems-Applications-Embedded Software Design Checklists which
are also offered as a Pak.
Design Review Suggestions
If you would like to share your thoughts with us on any aspect
of Design Review processes and tools, we would appreciate
the opportunity to hear your thoughts. If you have questions,
we will do our best to try and answer them. Please send all
correspondence regarding Design Reviews to the Design Review
Mogul via email at