Reliable products fulfil their function for a defined (operational) time under defined conditions. Vice versa, this means that products are robust against a range of possible failures and under all combinations of stress and boundary conditions.
Proving this robustness requires a holistic strategy that identifies this range of risks and addresses them with an appropriately diverse set of measures. This is achieved through the cooperation of a range of expert disciplines and with activities over the entire product development process, from quality aspects up to product maintenance. Even the supply chains are included because they are responsible for a large proportion of the functionality in many products.
As a general rule, the focus of development, quality, and maintenance processes lies on the functions. However, this is not sufficient to achieve the highest level of reliability. This requires that the product life cycle is accompanied by a dedicated process: The reliability process.