Quality Function Deployment

Quality Function Deployment 

QFD is a structured approach to defining customer needs or requirements and translating them into specific plans to produce products to meet those needs. The “voice of the customer” is the term to describe these stated and unstated customer needs or requirements.

QFD is:

  • Understanding Customer Requirements
  • Quality Systems Thinking + Psychology + Knowledge/Epistemology
  • Maximizing Positive Quality That Adds Value
  • Comprehensive Quality System for Customer Satisfaction
  • Strategy to Stay Ahead of The Game

As a quality system that implements elements of Systems Thinking with elements of Psychology and Epistemology (knowledge), QFD provides a system of comprehensive development process for:

  • Understanding ‘true’ customer needs from the customer’s perspective
  • What ‘value’ means to the customer, from the customer’s perspective
  • Understanding how customers or end users become interested, choose, and are satisfied
  • Analyzing how do we know the needs of the customer
    Deciding what features to include
  • Determining what level of performance to deliver
  • Intelligently linking the needs of the customer with design, development, engineering, manufacturing, and service functions
  • Intelligently linking Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) with the front end Voice of Customer analysis and the entire design system
  • There are many approaches to QFD, depending on the strategic purpose of the project.

The 3 main goals in implementing QFD are:

  1. Prioritize spoken and unspoken customer wants and needs.
  2. Translate these needs into technical characteristics and specifications.
  3. Build and deliver a quality product or service by focusing everybody toward customer satisfaction.

Processes of QFD

According to Lockamy and Khurana (1995) , the idea of QFD is timing, performance evaluation, and resource commitment. And the four phases of QFD are:

1. Product concept planning. It starts with customers and market research with leads to product plans, ideas, sketches, concept models, and marketing plans.

2.  Product development and specification. It would lead to the development to prototypes and tests.

3. Manufacturing processes and production tools. They are designed based on the product and component specifications.

4. Production of product. It starts after the pilot have been resolved.

Each phase, or matrix, represents a more specific aspect of the product’s requirements. Relationships between elements are evaluated for each phase. Only the most important aspects from each phase are deployed into the next matrix.

Phase 1, Product Planning

Phase 1, or product planning, is also called The House of Quality.  Phase 1 documents customer requirements, warranty data, competitive opportunities, product measurements, competing product measures, and the technical ability of the organization to meet each customer requirement. Getting good data from the customer in Phase 1 is critical to the success of the entire QFD process.

House of quality

House of Quality’ is a diagram, resembling a house, used for defining the relationship between customer desires and the firm/product capabilities. It is a part of the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and it utilizes a planning matrix to relate what the customer wants and how a firm (that produces the products) is going to meet those wants. QFD is applied across all the sequential phases for developing a product/service like product/service planning, design planning, process planning and production planning. Each phase is represented in a QFD matrix, also called as the ‘House of Quality’.

i. Customer Requirements

The left side of the above matrix consists of the customer requirements or the Voice of the Customers (the Whats). This is generally the first portion of the House of quality (HOQ) matrix to be completed and alsothe most  important.This is a structured list of requirements obtained through customer feedback, market research and benchmarking studies.

ii. Planning Matrix

The right side of the matrix gives the planning considerations to give the outputs (the Whys). This illustrates customer perceptions observed in market surveys. Includes relative importance of customer requirements, company and competitor performance in meeting these requirements.Planning matrix firstly quantifies the customer’s requirement priorities and their perceptions of the performance of existing products.Secondly it allows these priorities to be adjusted based on the issues that concern the design team.

iii. Technical requirements:

The top of the matrix consists of the organisation’s requirements or the Voice of the Company, (the Hows) which is a structured set of relevant and measurable product characteristics.This information is generated by the QFD design team who identify all the measurable characteristics of the product which they perceive are related to meet the specified customer requirements.

Quality Function Deployment

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