Quality Function Deployment
QFD - Quality Function Deployment
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a systematic process for motivating a business to focus on its customers. It is used by cross-functional teams to identify and resolve issues involved in providing products, processes, services and strategies which will more than satisfy their customers. A prerequisite to QFD is Market Research. This is the process of understanding what the customer wants, how important these benefits are, and how well different providers of products that address these benefits are perceived to perform. This is a prerequisite to QFD because it is impossible to consistently provide products which will attract customers unless you have a very good understanding of what they want.
When completed it resembles a house structure and is often referred to as House of Quality. The House is divided into several rooms. Typically you have customer requirements, design considerations and design alternatives in a 3 dimensional matrix to which you can assign weighted scores based on market research information collected.
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a methodology for taking the Voice of the Customer (aka VOC) and using that information to drive aspects of product development.
Cross functional teams participate in the process that consists of matrices that analyze data sets accoring to the objective of the QFD process. A typical QFD process involves a four phase approach. This approach has been made popular by the American Supplies Institute.
QFD is not just the House of Quality. It involves much more and matrices that are connected together using priority ratings from the previous matrix.
Product strategy must be established that provides a framework for properly selecting markets and product ideas. Customers and potential customers are then identified. Executive team to assess markets, competition, competitive strengths, and product lines. Map company position against competitors in various dimensions to provide insights and help develop strategy.
Product screening evaluates product concepts and marketplace needs against the product strategy objectives. Establish a portfolio management and pipeline management process including screening and feasibility criteria. For product ideas that meet screening criteria, organize and conduct preliminary feasibility studies.
Team & project organization are needed to initiate a project.
Customer needs data collection uses a variety of methods to gather the "Voice of the Customer". Depending upon the nature of the product and the markets, these methods include: focus groups, customer meetings, surveys and market research, and product support feedback systems. Establish these systems and processes. Identify required data and areas of investigation and would develop interview or discussion guides as required.
Quality function deployment (QFD) training if development personnel lacked an understanding of this useful methodology. QFD is an important tool to develop an understanding of customer needs among the product development team members and deploy the "Voice of the Customer" ( aka VOC) in a structured manner throughout the development process.
Guide development personnel through the process of product planning using QFD. Depending on the complexity of the product and the amount of data that was available, perform an initial QFD planning session that is typically several days in length. If data is lacking, assign tasks to obtain the needed information and schedule subsequent meetings as required. QFD planning phases that occur over the course of the development cycle: 1.) product and subsystem planning and concept selection; 2.) assembly and part deployment; 3.) process planning; and 4.) process control and quality control planning.