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Additional information: Assume the fire hydrant is the typical US variety. Image below:

asked in Product Improvement by (15 points) | 366 views

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Scope: Currrently the fire hydrant as shown above can be found on the streets and is used by firebridages to put out fires. 

I'm going to assume the goal of this exercise is to improve core functionality while identifying areas it can add value. We'll be measuring the success of this re-design basis improvement to core usage/use cases and see if we can add values functionally to other areas.

Who uses fire hydrants?

- Primary customers are Fire fighters that use it to quickly get water supply which is then used to put out fires.

- Local residents 

Let's spend sometime figuring out what are the needs of our customers 

  • Fire fighters
    • Easily identify fire hydrant
    • Easy access
    • Quickly gain access 
    • Prevent misuse - you don't water wastage 
    • Robust - don't get damages easily 
    • Shoud be functional - if there's an issue with water supply it should be easily identiable 
    • Lighter equipment to use fire hydrants
  • Locals
    • Should be more forgiving - currently stands out too much and takes up space
    • Can use themselves if needed 
I want to focus on solving for fire fighters since it's meant for specialised use for majors fires (Most building have small portable extinguishers in case of minor fires and major fires require fire fighters)
User journey:
Fire is reported > Area identified > fire fighters dispatched > Fire fighter reach area with equipment > identify fire hydrant > connect fire hydrant with heavy manually carried equipment > 
Here are the areas of improvement I'm considering for fire fighers inline with their needs I'll improve it
  1. Improve visibility: Reflective strips/flow in the dark paints with special sign to easily identify the hydrant in poor visibility conditions
  2. Up time indicator: A visual easy to read indicators that indictes that the hydrant has water supply that can be read at a distance so that maintenance can be done in time
  3. Better accessability:  In built braided pipe that lets you extend mount of hydrant by a few meters to improve accesability 
  4. Lighter pipe to connect with hydrant: Lighter material so that they are easier to carry
  5. Remote cut off switch: In case the fire hydrant is accidentally damaged - remotely cut off water supply to reduce water wastage
  6. Easier access: Key based access that makes accessing the fire extinguisher easier to switch on - requires lesser force

Here's how I'd prioritise :

  1. Improve visibility: Low effort, high return - PICK quite a frequent use case, visibility is impacted in fires 
  2. Up time indicator: Medium effort, medium return - PICK not a frequent use case but has grave reprecussions and improves an existing weakness where's no way to tell if hydrant is working or not
  3. Better accessability:  Medium effort, high return - PICK improves a big shortcoming - with space becoming more and more crowded this is needed
  4. Ligher equipment: Low cost high return - PICK Improves reaction time, which can save lives
  5. Remote cut off switch: Medium effort, medium return - Won't pick 
  6. Easier access: Medium effort, low return - won't pick
(aplogoies for the short answer, bit short on time)
answered by (35 points)

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