What is the product of 2 x 2?
Answer: the result (value) of the function.
That is, something specific is produced by the function, hence the term
“product”, as in offspring, output or effect...
But for our discussion, the default working definition of “product”
requires more than that.
Imagining a “Product”
We spend energy on activity that has results, but often we don’t call
the results “products”…
One of the main reasons for not calling a result a product is that our
concept of a “product” always goes beyond just the result of the
production activity and into our need for the result.
Anticipating a product
As requesters needing something, we expect a “product” to be:
• a production result having certain specified properties, created in a deliberate
and repeatable way, along with…
• a purposeful effect that is known and predicted, from a prescribed usage of
the production result’s properties.
Making a product
Production -> drill -> make holes
Production -> insulation-> prevent spoilage
Production -> harmonies -> evoke pleasure
Production -> fuel -> supply energy
PRODUCTION-> specified RESULT -> EFFECT of prescribed USE
Air Conditioner Air Flow
Fresher Cooler Air
Acknowledging a product
As recipients, we experience a “product” as something that:
• Is complete: it already exists (due to production) so that we do not have to
recreate it, and …
• Has a designated intent for its characteristics, and…
• Is provided to be used by a certain type of recipient
Recognizing a “Product”
Expectation Deliberate and
Specified Known and
Experience Complete Intentional Deliverable Specified user type
Meanwhile: everything that together distinguishes a “Product” is true for both Goods and Services.
When something is not complete,
has no designated intent, and is not
provided for utilization by the right
party, we never call it a product.
In fact, even meeting any (but
only) two of those three criteria
is usually not good enough to
warrant our calling it a product.
All squares are rectangles; but
not all rectangles are squares.
We recognize many things as Products. They fall into a
couple of categories. One category is “Goods”.
Another category is “Services”. Not knowing that a service
is a product simply reflects not knowing what a product is.
Producing Goods or Services
Among things produced to be a product, both goods and services qualify
because they are both complete, both have an intended purpose, and are
both delivered for targeted users.
Additionally, both may be “packaged” especially to communicate that they
come with supported use “as delivered”.
The main difference between goods and services is simple. Regardless of the
intended effect of use:
Goods are based on materials or items – i.e., static results of production
Services are based on activities – i.e., dynamic results of production
Product Design is responsible for designating the appropriate fit between the
characteristics of the product and the requirements of the user’s intent.
Product Architecture is responsible for identifying and communicating the system of
successful interoperations among elements of a product and among products with
dependencies on each other as directed by the design.
Goods products are deliverables, various forms of which (as containers) can be used to
deliver other goods, to enable services (such as with materials), and (such as with media)
even to deliver services.
Notably, a Service, also, is a product that might be used to deliver goods (such as in
shipping) or even to deliver other services (such as in contracting).
Sometimes, an acceptable “final” product is, by design, a compound product – part goods
and part services.
Specifying the Product creation
Goods and Services both have a planned makeup aimed at assurance of
utility. The plan can be modified, to adjust existing product or to create new
The concept, content, deliverability, and build of the product are all variables
to manage for their alignment and sustainability.
A design is a model for fitting the production result to the intended usage.
An architecture is a framework for fitting the construction of the result to the
A Service Is A Product
Not all activities are services; but all services are products.
A service “productizes” activity.
A “service” product exists when terms of agreement have been
established between the User (demander) and the Provider for on-
demand delivery of production results for user-intended effects.
A product of any kind, by definition, satisfies certain designated
As a type of requirements “fulfiller”, the primary differentiating aspect
of a service is that it is a product for which the user does not need to
provide maintenance, control operations, nor own the supporting
resources, in order to have effective availability and usage.
When a particular effect is identified as the target outcome for a
product user, the decision to meet that need with a service must
identify the scale of capability that will be available on-demand, and for
what durations, from the provider or producer.
For something to be deliverable, it must be intact, available, and within
“reach” of the intended recipient at the moment of the recipient’s
Resources – are “contained” activity that can be
requested and/or initiated. For example, this could be a
person (skills), a fuel (energy), a machine (procedures),
or a document (concepts). The container (i.e., form)
keeps the prescribed activity available and ready for use.
Capabilities – we often group and organize functions
into capabilities, to apply functional results selectively to
address specific requirements.
Functions – we recognize functions as a specific
repeatable way of acting on something, generating a
A resource can be
developed and then
provided as a
Capabilities are the
characteristics of the
production results in a
In production, a
resources provided to it
Product Design in the Service
• Service Terms of Agreement are part of the “product design”.
• Making the service available allows “delivering” the product.
• Real-time access to the available service is the delivery of the product
• Using the Service is using a product.
Conform result to the need
specified RESULT -> having prescribed EFFECT OF USE
Product Architecture in the Service
• Service Processes are part of the “product architecture”.
• Activity is proceduralized in order to methodically generate
predefined outputs in a repeatable way
• Proceduralization requires defined tasks and defined scope, executed the same way
regardless of outputs
• Processes control (start/stop, include/exclude) procedures according to whether
obtained outputs are driving intended outcomes.
Create result methodically
Production -> specified RESULT
Providing Products from production
“Production” does not always generate a product, but all products require
production. Production deliberately creates a specified result.
A product does not have to be pre-fabricated, but production results must be
complete before they can become an available product.
In the concept of the product, the designated usage predetermines what can be
considered “complete enough”.
A product also can have, as part of its “finish”, packaging that communicates the
product intention and provides support. But, packaging is optional.
Providing Products to Users
We hear a lot about packaged products. Product Providers usually rely on
packaging. But is an “unpackaged” product “incomplete”? No.
Packaging is done primarily to facilitate successful delivery – but an undelivered
product may still be available, accessible and usable.
A Producer may deliver the product directly to the user. In such a case, the
packaging is, in effect, the way that the producer conforms (not performs) the
delivery to the user for receipt.
Delivery behavior as “packaging” is especially significant in terms of Services. For
example, we think of things like “bedside manner” in hospitals (medical service),
and “customs” or “protocol” in diplomacy (foreign service).
Experiencing the Service Product
• As defined, the service may – or may not – be strong, available, on or up or
running – all of which are statuses of the service.
• Statuses of the Service are experiences of “the product”. Many experiences
can be negative:
• When the terms are not being met, the service is degraded.
• When the terms cannot be met, the service is unavailable.
• If the terms are not being met but can be, the service is either off or it is down.
• If the terms are being unnecessarily violated, the service may, as a penalty, be
• However, being degraded, unavailable, off, down or stopped does not
change the product into a non-service, nor the service into a non-product.
Known Limitations on “Products”
• A production effort may not result in a product. If the effort attempts to create a product but fails,
it is not a failed product, it is a failed production.
• Also, not all production is intended to conclude with something that complies with the
distinction of being a product. Some production is only progressive exploration. Progress is an
outcome that may not be a product.
• We know that there is such a thing as a bad product, which can occur from poor design and/or
poor architecture as well as poor production execution.
• Being a bad product does not mean that the [specified result having prescribed use effect] is
disqualified as a “real” product.
• The experience of exposure to and use of a product, whether the product is goods or services,
may be predetermined by the condition of the attempting user, and there can be conditional or
circumstantial incompatibilities of a product and a user.