Dr. Yoji Akao
Dr. Yoji Akao was named ASQ’s 24th Honorary Member (November 2009). The citation reads: “For distinguished innovation in the development of methodologies for strategic quality management through creation of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and promotion of Hoshin Kanri as significant business improvement practices to stimulate innovation and drive competitive breakthroughs.”
Akao originated the concept of quality function deployment (QFD), which is a quality methodology that transforms customer requirements for design of a product, service, or process into the component of design for that product and further translation of the quality functions into specifications for part and process design. QFD ensures traceability of the voice of the customer into the process. From QFD and several other innovative methodologies came the Japanese practice of strategic quality management known as hoshin kanri (translated as “policy deployment” or “managing by policy”).
An esteemed educator, Akao taught at Yamanashi University and Tamagawa University, where he eventually held the position of dean of the faculty of engineering. He also held positions and the Asahi University School of Business Administration and the Graduate School of Yamagata University.
In addition to his work as an educator, Akao was active in the Japanese quality movement on committees for many quality organizations, including the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE), an ASQ World Partner.
Akao’s previous ASQ honors include the Distinguished Service Medal in 2001 and the Shainin Medal in 2006. In 1978 he was awarded the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) Deming Prize for Individuals.