Decision: Product Life Cycle

Every product has a life cycle, the phases, stages or states that it goes through from “cradle to grave”.  In the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF), we have a Life Cycle branch of decisions under the Product Concept.  The top-level of that decision pattern is shown below:

Life Cycle Decision Pattern - Tree view

Life Cycle Decision Pattern – Tree view

There are lots of ways to slice up a life cycle into phases, so the decision pattern we’ve included is a good general start that may require some tweaking on your part.  Typically this tailoring is just a matter of ignoring or deleting the decisions that aren’t significant to your type of product.   If your product is 99% software, then you may blow away the Manufacturing Strategy branch.  If it’s a throwaway or consumable solution, then many of Support Strategy decisions will be “Not Applicable”.

Life cycle decisions are about “How and by Whom” the product will be realized and supported.  These aren’t decisions about the product design itself, but they will produce derived requirements that will constrain these product design decisions.  Many of the Specialty Engineering Integration (“ilities”) decisions under Product Architecture branch answer the question, “How will we accommodate this life cycle requirement in our product design”?

Planning for the life-cycle of a product is an important component of the product’s strategy. The life cycle decision pattern in the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) can jump-start this effort. Please contact the Decision Driven® Solutions team at or to start your free trial of DDSF.

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