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QFD Quality Function Deployment - Tool to map out product characteristics


Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 01:06:59 -0500
From: RNav
Subject: Re: Redirecting Efforts with Correlation/Regression Analysis???

In a message dated 2/18/99 12:45:04 AM, ThomCycle writes:

>I am working with a group whose notion is we can correlation analysis to
>determine relationship of failures of our service to major indicators/metrics
>in our processes. Doing this we believe could refocus our process management
>efforts in areas showing high correlation and the regression will provide
>some form of predictability of future service based on which variables
>I know I'm somewhat vague but I promised the group I would not share more
>until we are further in our analysis.
>Can anyone provide any references or insight on this approach?
>Thom Handa
>Dallas, TX

This is a tough subject and has been studied mightily over the years though maybe not directly. Service is a vague topic. Is it a touchy feely service like consulting, or uptime service on a machine. Regardless, the critical issues is what is the customer concerned with and can it be measured. I suggest it can, but the accuracy of these kinds of measurements can and do vary widely. And not all customers see things in the same way. So putting the above mentioned vagueness aside, I get the feeling that QFD maybe a help to you.

In essence, QFD (Quality Function Deployment) is a tool to map out product characteristics with customer wants and needs, working to determine the value the customer puts on the characteristics. With this knowledge, the goal is to develop a technical metric that can be controlled and manipulated to improve the characteristic the customer is interested in. QFD is not a small undertaking, and can be ripe for abuse (political manipulation, part of it's design was to thwart this). QFD id a kind of pseudo scientific method, attempting to add precision to a notoriously imprecise process.

I hope this helps. P.S. - My expertise in this is the result of some reading for application in my organization and a 3 day class.

Robert Drensek, CQE, CQA, CRE
Quality Engineer
Elsmar Forum Sponsor



QFD as it's called in the west originated in Japan and, I cant help thinking that QFD as a customer focused tool in the west is evolving along with QMS, EMS, Six sigma and CRM (Data mining) becoming a single system of business management for the mainly global organizatuions such as IBM, GE, Auto manufacturing and more, yet, I laugh when I read some of the older publications that Deming contributed to that refer to a system of profound knowledge and, The SOPK is the foundation to allowing the above to be successful, I believe that organizational quality systems have been traveling on the long and laborious winding road of trial and error and in turn reaping the negetive benefits of ignoring great men such as Deming (Who was a man before his time) Who pointed us all to the straight and narrow road of learning, knowledge and appreciation of systems throght the development of an SOPK.
I kind of gave up with the auditing GAME a while ago when I saw that ALMOST every auditee had absolutely no intentions of getting to know what a system is in relation to what is commonly called a QMS, I believe that Deming would have had a field day with the so called quality registrars who are touting quality systems as the way to internal and external customer satisfaction and quality model compliance.
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