Written by Tara Peris
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DOE is an abbreviated term for Design of Experiments, a process by which those in the engineering or technology disciplines can examine the factors which influence the outcome of a given product. Through systematic scientific scrutiny, the parameters most likely to influence the direction the product takes can be isolated and controlled. Rooted in statistical theory, DOE is among the best ways to forecast and plan for the marketing of a new product.

Perhaps you have a great idea. Perhaps you think that with a bit of work, it may be developed into a marketable product. There are many steps along this road and it is difficult to ascertain at the outset whether your prospects are worth the investment of time, energy, and money that will inevitably be required.

It is for this reason that so many brilliant products never hit the market. Central to the American spirit is a flair for innovation and invention, and it seems our capitalist instincts fuel us toward constant pursuit of the next big thing. Yet, somewhere between that flash of inspiration and the final payoff, we lose sight of things and drift off course.

Carry Your Idea Through Efficiently and Effectively
Even for those who do not lose their resolve, there is the unfortunate tendency to pursue things in a poorly managed, inefficient manner. It is these misguided efforts that allow a good idea to go bad. Careful planning is needed at the outset, and in our enthusiasm, this is all too often forgotten.

When planning does take place, it is imperative that it proceed from an informed standpoint. This may seem straightforward, but it is usually a rather involved process. Indeed, one must consider not only the details related to the specific product, but the broader economic and social climate in which it will be marketed.

There are a number of ways to go about this. You can head to the local library to research your topic, or use reliable online resources. Alternatively, you may seek the help of a knowledgeable consultant. Whatever your choice, the goal should be efficiency.

Obtain Critical Information Via the DOE Approach
You want to be apprised of your options thoroughly and quickly. The design of experiments practice was borne out of this need. In situations where you must evaluate different risks and decision-making options efficiently, DOE is one of the best strategies available. Relying on statistical models that can manipulate variables of interest to examine their influence on the experimental outcome, it is a quick, cost-effective way to guide decision-making.

Best of all, DOE is not difficult to learn. There are a number of DOE modular workshops available from reliable, experienced consulting groups. These are usually sufficient to help you gain basic skills with the software and to guide you in applying it to your own product. If you are looking to maximize the quality and profitability of a potential product, you should consider DOE a pivotal starting point.

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