Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 174–183 | Cite as

Customer Value Chain Analysis

  • Krista M. DonaldsonEmail author
  • Kosuke Ishii
  • Sheri D. Sheppard
Original paper


Customer Value Chain Analysis (CVCA) is an original methodological tool that enables design teams in the product definition phase to comprehensively identify pertinent stakeholders, their relationships with each other, and their role in the product’s life cycle. By performing CVCA, design teams are better able to recognize diverse product requirements and their relative priority when undertaking Product Definition Assessment and using downstream ‘Design for X’ (DfX) tools. This paper discusses the evolution of the CVCA in response to the need for a DfX tool which is able to delineate customer needs early in the product development process. A step-by-step guide clarifies the implementation of CVCA with an example. Three case studies highlight the tool’s broad utility and important features to support design decision making, including: (1) confirmation of the product’s business model, (2) recognition of the critical stakeholders, and (3) clarification of the value proposition to be embedded in the product.


Product definition Design support DfX tool 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Edith Wilson, the students and partner companies of the ME217/317 Design for Manufacturability (dfM) course at Stanford University and the staff of KickStart for their invaluable contributions to the development of the CVCA. This research was in part funded by the United States Department of Energy Manufacturing and Processing Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krista M. Donaldson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kosuke Ishii
    • 2
  • Sheri D. Sheppard
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Design ResearchStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Manufacturing Modeling LaboratoryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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