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This entry concerns the evaluation of physical objects produced by a manufacturing process. Because space limitations preclude an in-depth treatment, a general framework is provided that can guide more detailed evaluations. In the process, my goal is to highlight relationships between the evaluation of products and the more usual targets of evaluators (i.e., programs, regulation, and legislation). It is useful to consider product evaluation as a set of issues falling into four categories:

  • Product life cycle
  • Stakeholders and frames of reference
  • Logic models and relationships among measures
  • Sources of data
Product Life Cycle

Typically, product development travels a path from initial conception or high-level design through detail design, manufacturing, marketing and sales, postsales warranty and support, to retirement. Evaluation priorities, methods, and, indeed, the meaning of the ...

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