How Useful Is QFD?
Abstract:The author describes his experience mentoring high school students participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, a multinational event that teams professionals and students to solve engineering problems. After a successful performance in the 2003 competition, the author convinced the team coordinator to allow the use of quality function deployment (QFD), also known as the House of Quality, to expedite the design of the team's robot for the 2004 competition. The team struggled to implement QFD, but was able to reach design consensus faster than in the 2003 competition. The team's efforts won second place in the regional competition and the opportunity to complete on the national level. Using what was learned from the 2004 QFD experience, the team looks forward to an even better performance in 2005. A sidebar article provides additional information about the FIRST Robotics …