What is Quality Function Deployment (QFD)?
Also called: matrix product planning, decision matrices, customer-driven engineering
Every organization has customers. Some have only internal customers, some have only external customers, and some have both. When you are working to determine what you need to accomplish to satisfy or even delight your customers, quality function deployment is an essential tool.
QFD is a focused methodology for carefully listening to the voice of the customer and then effectively responding to those needs and expectations.
First developed in Japan in the late 1960s as a form of cause-and-effect analysis, QFD was brought to the United States in the early 1980s. It gained its early popularity as a result of numerous successes in the automotive industry.
In QFD, quality is a measure of customer satisfaction with a product or a service. QFD is a structured method that uses the seven management and planning tools to identify and prioritize customers’ expectations quickly and effectively.
Beginning with the initial matrix, commonly termed the House of Quality (Figure 1), the QFD methodology focuses on the most important product or service attributes or qualities. These are composed of customer wows, wants, and musts. (See the Kano model of customer perception versus customer reality.)
Once you have prioritized the attributes and qualities, QFD deploys them to the appropriate organizational function for action, as shown in Figure 2. Thus, QFD is the deployment of customer-driven qualities to the responsible functions of an organization.
Quality Function Deployment: Most Important Product/Service Attributes or Qualities
Quality Function Deployment of Customer-driven Qualities to Responsible Organizational Functions
QFD Explained (Quality Progress) Learn more about quality function deployment, the structured method for translating customer requirements into appropriate technical requirements for each stage of product development and production.
An Introduction To Modern Quality Function Deployment Glenn Mazur, executive director of the QFD Institute, walks through an introduction to modern quality function deployment.
Blitz QFD Webcast Series
- An Introduction To Blitz QFD: The Customer Matrix In the first webcast of this three-part series, Dr. Jack ReVelle walks through a detailed introduction to Blitz QFD, a streamlined or "light" approach to quality function deployment.
- Blitz QFD Part 2: Consumer Segmentation And Implementation In part two of a three-part webcast series, Dr. Jack ReVelle goes beyond the basics of quality function deployment (QFD) and into consumer segmentation and steps for applying Blitz QFD, a streamlined or "light" approach to QFD.
- Blitz QFD Part 3: The Analytical Hierarchy Process In the final installment of a three-part Blitz QFD series, Dr. Jack ReVelle walks through the analytical hierarchy process, a structured technique for organizing, analyzing, and ultimately deciding on the most important customer needs to focus on.
Adapted from Quality Essentials: A Reference Guide from A to Z, ASQ Quality Press.