Hi all, I would like help to understand, what documents are required to support a product design project, from proposal to final submission? Why are the documents important, who needs them and what fundamental info should they include? I would be grateful if someone can provide a case study.
Kind regards

As far as projects go there are the Gant chart of the stages and then updates of progress. Those are the most important. If the project is being managed through software on e-project or some other mechanism, there may be a reporting in requirement. An updating required. If you are a design consuiltancy the paperwork to do business can be extraordinary. There are many documents required. Sometimes, too many I’m afraid. The most important is the proposal although I must say, I know of one very successful Design/innovation consultant who almost never writes one and works mainly on a handshake. Next after the proposal is the invoice. These are the two key essentials. I would try and keep it to that. After that it gets out of control. Terms and conditions, non-competes, contractor agreements, contracts for employees, etc… I would try and keep it as simple as possible. Especially if you are a small company or running a project. Simple is always better.

the breif

Hi, thanks for info. Just to get this clear, the brief would be created between the client and the proposal would created to by the consultancy; or the client and consultancy would work together on a brief which would include a proposal.

Is it enough to store all project data in file for future reference or is it good practice to right up a report for each project as a learning reference.

From client: statement of work, request for proposal, design problem, sketches, drawings, product requirements document
From you: proposal
Project: design requirements, user needs document, drawings, sketches, renderings, CAD models, part and tooling quotations, material and finish specifications, bills of material, assembly documents, project management reporting, invoices
Project completion: a final submission of work, may include all of the above as a project history. Doing a project write up is an excellent idea as details are soon forgotten. It is also excellent to keep all project documents in a file for future reference, to reuse some information or for inspiration.

Thanks, guys you have all given great advice.

sometimes the client comes to you with a brief, sometimes this need to be modified, sometimes you will have to create the brief for the client to tie down there vague ideas.

specifying what needs to be done before doing it is vital.

for some ‘Brief’ info check out Peter Phillips book here