Partial QRPD Glossary
This partial glossary defines several of the key QRPD
concepts. A full glossary is contained in the guidebook Projects
at Warp-Speed with QRPD®:
The Definitive Guidebook to Quality Rapid Product
Development, by Orion Kopelman and Cinda Voegtli.
"Chicken Test" is a term which originally
referred to the testing of jet engines: Before an engine
design could be fully developed, the project team learned
to shoot live chickens from a cannon straight into the
turbines--thus determining if the design could survive
this crucial "chicken test" before it got
too far underway.
Chicken tests on QRPD projects are done
at two levels:
- Innovations chicken tests: a test of each
individual technological innovation that is a major or higher
risk. A "major" technological innovation is one that has
been implemented elsewhere only a few times, and never yet
in-house. See the risk assessment table under Commandment
- The system chicken test is the critical
point in the project: the point at which the fundamental
overall design has been proven to hang together. This
typically occurs early in the integration testing timeframe
in phase II; it should occur no later than the 50% point
of the project.
Every project must eventually undergo and pass a system-level
chicken test before you know that your major technical risks
are past. The only question is how late in the project
you will discover that you may need to take a different technological
approach. Obviously, the earlier the better.
A methodology that has a set of phases that represent
true progress on a project. All phases involved committed
cross-functional involvement but the emphasis changes depending
on the phase. A feature of a QRPD
Flow methodology involved concurrent iterative cross-functional
planning in the initial phase of the project.
Phase exits are only useful if they measure true progress
on the project not just the completion of the requisite paperwork.
This is the difference between a stone cutter that thinks
he is cutting stone and another that thinks he is building
a cathedral. It is about providing projects with empowered
teams and effective leadership.
This is the fundamental tradeoff that all projects must
- Performance (Customer focused measures of success contained
in the QRPD Vision)
- Time (Project schedule with measurable milestones)
- Cost (Project Budget: Capital costs and clear roles and
- Risk (Technical and management risk on project)
Phase one is complete when you have team and management commitment
to a Vision, Schedule, Budget and Risk that represent the
final outcome of concurrent and interactive tradeoffs.
vision is a one or two page document that the entire team
writes iteratively. It contains the specific target customers,
their measure of success, the project key features and the
key financial goals. It is the one document that everyone
on the team can have up on their wall and it represents the
final decisions that the project team made on performance
measures after "see-sawing" through the tradeoffs.