Stakeholders’ diverging perceptions of product requirements: implications in the design practice
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A relevant challenge of firms developing new products stands in the capability to fulfil the requirements customers expect, which can give rise to design conflicts. Many techniques consider the relevance assigned to requirements by consequently focusing on those characteristics to which customers attribute more importance. The matter is complicated by multiple kinds of subjects, often indicated as stakeholders, that interact with the product and can influence the success of new products. Stakeholders can manifest different preferences also about requirements which are not intrinsically conflicting. The application of Kano model has been proposed to lay bare the extent of said divergences. An illustrative experiment has been conducted in the footwear industry to reveal the perception of retailers and end users with respect to shoes requirements. It emerges that the consideration of the relevance attributed to a subset of requirements is significantly different. The paper further discusses the expected modifications of design processes followed by companies needing to pay attention to intricate networks of requirements and stakeholders.